Denis Shapovalov hits a backhand at the 2021 St Petersburg Open

Photo: St Petersburg Open

Denis Shapovalov produced a comeback victory to defeat Pablo Andujar of Spain and seal his passage through to the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Open on Wednesday. The Canadian will now face No. 7 seed Alexander Bublik or Jan-Lennard Struff in the last eight.

Having received a first-round bye, No. 2 seed Shapovalov was playing his opening match of the tournament. Meanwhile, Andujar had beaten Federico Delbonis 6-2, 7-6(1) in his first-round match.  This was the third meeting between the two players, but just their second on the court, with the Canadian having won their first clash at the 2019 Australian Open and the second being a walkover in his favour at Wimbledon in June.

Shapovalov did not get off the ideal start in this match, though, as he dropped the first set 6-2. He and Andujar shared nine break points between them but, while the Spaniard converted two of his five, the Canadian was unable to capitalize on any of his four.

The second set saw Shapovalov gradually find his groove. He upped his first serve points win percentage from 70% in the first set to 89% in the second and shut out his opponent, allowing him just one break point opportunity. The match remained tight, though, and his break to go 3-1 up proved decisive on his way to winning the second set 6-3.

Onto the third and this was where Shapovalov really turned on the afterburners. He came out of the traps firing as he broke Andujar at the first time of asking and, from there, he never looked back. A 6-0 demolition capped his impressive comeback and carved his route to the quarter-finals.

The Canadian is also through to the last eight in doubles having beaten No. 2 seeds Ben McLachlan and Raven Klaasen on Monday. Shapovalov and his partner, Rohan Bopanna, will take on Russian duo Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov on Thursday.