Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Denis Shapovalov’s run at the Mutua Madrid Open came to an unfortunate end in the second round on Tuesday when he was defeated by world no. 78 Andy Murray of Great Britain. In the third round, Murray will face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
The favorite in the matchup by virtue of his ranking (no. 16) and perfect record of one win over Murray, Shapovalov knew it would be a tough task to repeat. Indeed, last February, the Brit returned to the Top 100 for the first time since May 2018, thanks in part to his appearance in the final of the Sydney event. What’s more, since the beginning of the season, he has beaten several Top 50 players, demonstrating time and again that he should not be underestimated.
Murray was reminded of this message early on in the match as he quickly won the first set 6-1. Despite a poor first serve percentage (44%), the former World No. 1 was able to limit his errors and take advantage of his opportunities (two break points won out of three) to calmly take the lead.
However, it was far from a done deal for Murray. As he has done on numerous occasions, Shapovalov took his game up a notch to get back into the match. In the fifth game of the second set, the Richmond Hill, Ontario native showed remarkable resiliency by holding off two break points to take a 3-2 lead. This seemed to give him a lot of energy, as he converted his first break point in the next game to add to his lead. He finally closed out the set a few minutes later by a score of 6-3, forcing a deciding third frame.
Unfortunately, despite a strong fight in the first games of the final set, the Canadian’s comeback did not materialize. After a crucial break in the sixth game, Shapovalov was unable to stop Murray and was defeated by a score of 6-2.
On Thursday, Murray will face Djokovic for the 37th time in his career. So far, the Serb has had the upper hand more often than not, with a record of 25 wins and only 11 losses against the Brit. However, with the way Djokovic has been playing lately, it’s hard to predict the outcome of this match.
The match will be broadcast on RDS (French) and TSN (English).