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Shapovalov shines in Basel, battles past Sugita

Oct 23, 2017
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Denis Shapovalov demonstrated maturity beyond his years to pick up a comeback win over Yuichi Sugita 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(3) in the first round of the Swiss Indoors, an ATP 500 event in Basel.

This is Shapovalov’s first win since September in Davis Cup. He previously fell in the first round in Shanghai and Antwerp.

Shapovalov fell behind an early break in the opening set to trail Sugita 2-1. The Canadian avoided going down a double break a few games later but was unable to recover from the early deficit.

It was then Shapovalov who flipped the script in the second set, showing maturity in his mindset and game plan to come back strong and go up an early break to lead 2-0 this time around. Up 5-2 at the change of ends, Shapovalov broke Sugita for a second time to take the second set and level the match. He hit 15 winners to Sugita’s two in the set.

The Canadian carried his momentum into the third set. On a wicked forehand cross-court passing shot, Shapovalov grabbed the first break of the final set and led 3-1. He would hold for 4-1 but Sugita came battling back to get back on serve, 4-3.

A tiebreak would decide the match.

The pair traded early mini breaks to begin the tiebreak. On serve at 3-2, Shapovalov earned his second mini break to lead Sugita 4-2 at the change of ends. Shapovalov battled to earn a 6-3 and bring up three match points. On a double fault from Sugita, Shapovalov earned his first ATP tour-level win since Coupe Rogers.