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Soaked Shapo seals first French Open win

May 29, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

It was a soggy start to Day 3 at Roland Garros, but Denis Shapovalov wasn’t about to let a little bad weather rain on his parade.

Seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam following a surprisingly successful clay-court swing, Shapovalov navigated past a potentially tricky first-round opponent in the form of Australia’s John Millman in a match where the weather proved to be just as much of a challenge as the player across the net.

Photo credit: Peter Figura

The first set saw both players attempting to adjust to the heavy, wet conditions. On clay courts, players are able to play in light rain as the clay remains gritty enough to keep their footing, as opposed to hard courts or grass courts, which are unplayable when wet.

Shapovalov fell behind an early break after failing to convert on three break points of his own in the third game, one of which was lost on a dead netcord winner that saw him slip into the net. However, the 19-year-old tightened up his play as the Millman backhand began to waver, and eventually sealed the set 7-5 on a run of five consecutive games.

After exchanging breaks early in the second set, both players were forced off court as a result of suddenly heavier rainfall. An hour later, the Canada-Australia clash was back on, with Shapovalov able to secure a break at 4-4 to eventually steal the set after 90 minutes of play.

Confident and striking winners off both wings seemingly at will, the Canadian was ruthless in the third set, riding out a single break early on to sail away to victory by a final score of 7-5, 6-4, 6-2. Shapovalov finished the match with 32 winners and winning 76% of points at the net.

Next up for the left-hander from Richmond Hill is fellow southpaw Maximillian Marterer of Germany, who easily navigated past Ryan Harrison in his first-round match.

(Feature photo: Peter Figura)