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Home   News   Shapo solves Chung, Raonic races past Mannarino

Shapo solves Chung, Raonic races past Mannarino

Oct 01, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis Shapovalov is through to the second round of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships following a decisive win over a tricky opponent. The 19-year-old upset No. 7 seed Hyeon Chung in a tense 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 thriller as both players dazzled the Tokyo crowd in a contrasting matchup of offence verses defence.

The first set was played on an even keel, with Shapovalov pounding away at his South Korean’s resilient defences with all the firepower in his arsenal. The relentlessness of Shapovalov’s attack would ultimately pay dividends in the eighth game of set, where a couple of well-placed returns would ultimately secure the break that the Canadian needed, and he would serve the set out with ease to earn the early advantage.

Chung would regroup in the second set. With Shapovalov’s serve stats taking a dip, the World No. 23 would get the break he had been pressing for late in the second, courtesy of a double fault. On the Rakuten Open’s lightning-quick indoor courts, Chung served out the set with little resistance to bring the match into a decider.

With the momentum against him, Shapovalov would face four break points early in the third set, each saved with clutch lefty serves that Chung, to his frustration, couldn’t get a read on. After quelling the South Korean’s early chances, the Canadian No. 2 took advantage of a loose service game from Chung to flip the momentum — and from there it was all Shapovalov, who raced to the finish line with one final break of the Chung serve to earn victory in one hour, 51 minutes.

Shapovalov would finish the match striking 14 aces and saving six of seven break points faced. He becomes the second Canadian in as many weeks to defeat Chung following Auger-Aliassime’s victory over the South Korean just last week in Chengdu.

In the day’s first match, Milos Raonic overcame Adrian Mannarino with ease, not once relinquishing serve and hitting 17 aces en route to a 68-minute victory. The sixth-seeded Canadian sped through his third career meeting with the Frenchman, who had few answers to his opponent’s dominant play, which included 29 winners to just 13 unforced errors. Up next for the three-time Rakuten Open finalist is either qualifier Yosuke Watanuki or Robin Haase.

(Feature photo: ATP World Tour)