Four Canadian men played on Wednesday and two were guaranteed to advance as a set of Canadian battles were decided by the thinnest of margins.
Denis Shapovalov kicked off the day of all-Canadian clashes with a tight three-set win over Peter Polansky at the Stockholm Open, prevailing 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in their first tour-level meeting.
After dominating the first set despite a meager 38 per cent first serve percentage, Shapovalov was played tight by his more experienced compatriot in the second. Polansky was able to level the match on his fifth break point, securing a break of serve as Shapovalov’s focus faltered in the latter stages of the set.
The 19-year-old would fly out to a 3-1 lead in the decisive set, only to be reeled back in to 3-all after a couple of tight games. Shapovalov’s high-risk, flashy brand of tennis ultimately prevailed over Polansky’s more conservative baseline game, as the No.5 seed broke at 5-all before serving out the match to love after two-and-a-half hours of play.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 17, 2018
Up next for Shapovalov is former World No.10 Ernests Gulbis, who after qualifying for the main draw took out Swedish wild card Mikael Ymer in the first round.
Unlike the first matchup, the day’s second Clash of Canadians fell the way of the lesser-ranked Canadian, with Vasek Pospisil earning a tight victory over Milos Raonic in two sets at the European Open in Antwerp
The first set was played on a razor’s edge, with neither Raonic or Pospisil facing a break point. With the lightning-quick courts catering to both players’ first-strike style, the early advantage fell to the British Columbian who capitalized on a few loose Raonic errors in the tiebreak, sealing the set on an impressive lob winner.
Break points remained non-existent in the second set, with both players crushing service winners off every other delivery. At 5-all, however, Pospisil was able to find the right returns at the right times, digging out several to the feet of a serve-and-volleying Raonic to secure a break on the first time of asking. The one break would be all Pospisil needed to seal his first win over Raonic in three meetings.
Game, set and match: Vasek Pospisil! He knocks out compatriot Milos Raonic in today’s second #ClashofCanadians, winning 7-6(3), 7-5. 🇨🇦🆚🇨🇦
Nice moment at the net between two of Canada’s finest, sportsmanship prevails. pic.twitter.com/tqwEuBwYH5
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) October 17, 2018