Denis Shapovalov pumps his fist. He beat Daniel Altmaier on Thursday at Wimbledon in five sets.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

A day after Félix Auger-Aliassime was surprised from two sets up, Denis Shapovalov narrowly avoided suffering the same fate as he hung on to beat Daniel Altmaier in five sets on Thursday at Wimbledon. 

Like his countryman, Shapovalov was in control up two sets to love, only to see his opponent battle back to force a fifth. In the decider, the 2022 semifinalist got an early lead and played a near-perfect set on serve to advance to the third round at the All England Club with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 1-6, 6-7(3), 6-4 win. 

As always, Shapovalov went big, firing 51 winners but also committing 58 unforced errors, more than twice his opponent. While his serve was clutch when he needed it, winning 71 per cent of his first serve points and saving 50 per cent of break points, he also double-faulted 16 times. 

Shapovalov was a bit up and down in the opening set, breaking in the fifth game only to gift the break back with an error-filled game for 4-4.  

He managed to find his highest level when it mattered most, though, playing a clean tiebreaker where he won every point on his own serve while earning a few errors from Altmaier to take the opening set. 

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An early break to start the second set proved decisive for the Canadian as he drew an error with some big hitting to take a 2-0 lead. Altmaier never came close to getting the break back as Shapovalov only dropped nine points on serve on his way to a two-set lead. 

Seemingly out of nowhere, Shapovalov’s level vanished in the third set after he failed to convert a break point in the second game. Errors and poorly timed double faults haunted the Canadian throughout the set as he fell behind love-40 twice and was broken both times. 

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A sloppy game to open the fourth, including two double faults, put Shapovalov in a hole he struggled to dig out of. He had to save more break points in the fifth game before Altmaier briefly dropped his level long enough to hand the break back for 4-4. 

But it was just a blip for the German, who was still very much in charge of the fourth set. He failed to convert a break point at 5-5 but raced out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak which he never relinquished to send the match to a fifth set. 

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Once again, the momentum seemed to completely flip out of nowhere. Having dominated the last two sets, Altmaier picked the worst possible moment to play his worst game of the match, hitting four straight errors to drop serve to love in the opening game of the fifth set. 

From there, Shapovalov locked in on his serve and never gave his opponent a chance to get back in it. In the entire fifth set, the Canadian lost just two points on serve as he rode that opening break to victory. 

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Shapovalov is through to the third round at Wimbledon for the third time in the last four years. Getting back to the last sixteen is critical for the Canadian as his points from Wimbledon 2023, a fourth-round appearance, account for 34 per cent of his total ranking points but are also the last points he has to defend in 2024. 

Standing between him and the last sixteen will be No. 14 seed Ben Shelton. 

Wozniacki outlasts Fernandez

Veteran Caroline Wozniacki overcame a stern test from Leylah Annie Fernandez, defeating the 21-year-old 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in 2 hours and 19 minutes to advance to the third round of Wimbledon.

In a match delayed by darkness, the former Grand Slam winner saved two match points in the late stages to prevail in a thrilling three-set contest over the Canadian.

In the opening set, both women threatened early but each was able to save a break point as they held for 1-1.

Fernandez would make inroads on the Wozniacki serve in the fifth game, however the veteran would save all five break point chances to hold for a 3-2 lead.

The competitors stayed level until 4-3, when errors crept into the Canadian’s game. The 33-year-old veteran took advantage, converting on her second break point opportunity of the set to seize a 5-3 lead.

That one break of serve would prove the difference as Wozniacki held to capture the opening set 6-3 in 41 minutes.

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The 2021 US Open finalist promptly mounted her comeback in the second set, earning her first break of the match to take a 2-0 lead. The left hander escaped a 0-30 deficit to hold for a 3-0 advantage.

While a double fault from the Canadian would gift the break back to Wozniacki, she remained undeterred. Fernandez raced through the final three games, converting on her second set point to win it 6-2 in 39 minutes.

Photo – Sidorjak

The match continued into the third with momentum swings. Wozniacki capitalized on mistakes from Fernandez to break in the opening game. The Canadian again replied with urgency, hitting a running forehand passing shot to break back for 1-1.

Bad lighting would halt play at 3-all in the third set for just over an hour before the competitors resumed action on Court 1.

Fernandez returned from the delay energized, striking a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner at 30-0 and quickly holding serve for a 4-3 advantage.

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Wozniacki escaped a storm of pressure from the Canadian, holding off a pair of break chances to level the score.

The 21-year-old from Laval released a loud roar of jubilation as she fired a clean backhand winner to hold for 5-4, but Wozniacki would respond, digging deep to save two match points and hold to tie the set at five.

The tension continued, with the Danish woman getting multiple looks at break points, and finally converting on her sixth as Fernandez sent a forehand long.

She would close the match out on serve, finally outlasting the Canadian.

She will face 2022 champion Elena Rybakina next.