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Home   News   Shapovalov edges Tsitsipas in late-night Miami thriller

Shapovalov edges Tsitsipas in late-night Miami thriller

Mar 27, 2019
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

There are three words that Denis Shapovalov often recites about his tennis, and they’re three words that proved essential in his Miami Open victory last night.

Don’t. Stop. Fighting.

Down a set and his back up against the wall, the 19-year-old Canadian battled back to secure an impressive win over former junior rival Stefanos Tsitsipas, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) just before 1:40am in Miami.

With their junior head-to-head at 2-1 in Shapovalov’s favour, but a deadlocked 1-1 in the pros (both meetings came last year), the match was played on an even keel between the two one-handed shotmakers.

Tsitsipas has been one of the hottest players on tour this season, reaching the semis of the Australian Open followed by a title and a subsequent final in February – and his recent hot form was evident in the first set, as he played flashy but focused tennis to secure an early break – the only one he’d need to claim the set.

While Shapovalov was flashy himself, the focus was lacking as his stat sheet was littered with significantly more unforced errors than his Greek opponent. The second set was a perfect opportunity for him to reset – and reset he did. Going up a double break by playing with greater margins and improved patience, he’d eventually close the set out on a Tsitsipas forehand long.

The final set was the best of both players. Although Shapovalov would find himself at 30 in two of the Tsitsipas service games, the No. 8 seed was able to come up with a few dazzling shots to quell the Canadian’s challenge. With no break points faced throughout the set, the two headed to a decisive tiebreak, which ultimately fell the way of Shapovalov, who went for – and made – a couple risky hot shots to secure victory after two hours of play.

The score sheet was an even 100 points won for each player, meaning the margins were thin, with Shapovalov’s willingness to go for his shots in the tiebreak as the difference maker in the end. The victory is the 19-year-old’s second Top 10 win of the season following his defeat of Marin Cilic earlier this month in Indian Wells, and sees him into the quarter-finals to join fellow Canadian teenager Félix Auger-Aliassime, who won his fourth-round match (much) earlier in the day.