Denis Shapovalov pumps his fist.

Photo : @atptour

48 hours after playing in the Vienna final, Denis Shapovalov got his campaign at the Paris Masters up and running with a comeback win over Francisco Cerundolo.

Despite some sluggish patches and a poor first-set tiebreak, Shapovalov was able to dig deep and eventually wear down his Argentinian opponent for a 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 win.

It was not the cleanest performance from Shapovalov, as he had more unforced errors than winners 25 to 23. Cerundolo actually had more winners (26) and fewer errors (22) but struggled to create opportunities on the Canadian’s serve.

Shapovalov won 78 per cent of his first serve points and only faced two break points in the match, both in his first service game. He had ten chances on the Argentine’s serve, converting three.

The last time Shapovalov played at the Paris Masters in 2019, he reached the final before falling to Novak Djokovic. It remains his best result at a Masters 1000 event.

After an exchange of breaks to open the match, both men settled in and matched each other hold for hold through the opening set without any break points appearing.

A slice backhand long on the second point of the tiebreak from Shapovalov gave away the minibreak and the Canadian was unable to recover, dropping the tiebreak 7-2 to trail by a set.

Cracks started to appear in the Argentine’s game as the second set went along and Shapovalov started to have looks on his opponent’s serve.

Break points came and went in the second and sixth game, but at 4-3, Cerundolo sent a forehand long on to finally surrender the break, setting up the Canadian to serve out the set and level the match.

In the decider, Shapovalov continued to be the aggressor, applying pressure to the Cerundolo serve while defending his own without too much trouble.

He missed a pair of break points in the fifth game, but at 4-all, Shapovalov ripped a return to set up double break point. On the second, Cerundolo dumped a forehand into the net to set up the Canadian to serve out the match.

Having not faced a break point since his first service game of the match, Shapovalov had no problem closing out the match with a hold to love.

Shapovalov will renew hostilities with National Bank Open champion Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round. The Spaniard leads their head-to-head 4-2, although Shapovalov won their lone meeting in 2022 in straight sets at the ATP Cup.