Just days after celebrating Team Canada’s Davis Cup win in Toronto, Denis Shapovalov kept up his winning ways half-way across the globe, defeating Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 7-6(3), 6-2 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Against the No. 126-ranked Spaniard, Shapovalov was dominant on serve in the quick indoor conditions of the St. Petersburg Open. He struck 10 aces and won an impressive 94% (31/33) of points on his first serve, not once facing a break point in the one-hour, 23-minute first-round contest. While Menendez-Maceiras was similarly successful on his own first serve, Shapovalov was able to take advantage of the qualifier’s weaker second-serve numbers, breaking twice in the second set.
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Shapovalov has every reason to feel comfortable playing in Russia’s second-largest city. His Russian heritage is not only prevalent in his surname, but also in his fluency in the language as his post-match on-court interview was conducted entirely in Russian. The Canadian will also be feeling confident this week, having posted an instrumental five-set win in Davis Cup to help Canada towards a seeded position in next year’s reformatted “World Cup of Tennis.”
Up next for Shapovalov is 22-year-old Matteo Berrettini, whose game resembles that of Shapo’s Davis Cup teammate Milos Raonic: A massive serve and dominant forehand – atypical for an Italian player but nevertheless potent in the speedy conditions at the St. Petersburg Open.
(Feature photo: Mauricio Paiz)