Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Denis Shapovalov played one of his most complete matches of the season, defeating 26th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6(3), 6-3 to advance to the third round of Madrid.

The Canadian struck 33 winners and fired eight aces to collect his second clay court win of 2024.

In a match dripping with quality from the outset, the two opponents engaged in some thrilling and physical baseline rallies on the red clay in Spain.

Photo – Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

It was Shapovalov who struck first, unleashing a pair of early forehand winners to break for a 2-1 lead, only to see the Argentinian immediately level the score, as very little separated the two players. The opening set would remain level until 5-all as the Canadian again caught fire, hitting consecutive winners from the backhand side. A delicate drop shot winner secured a break to love.

Read more: Auger-Aliassime, Fernandez rally to win Madrid Openers

Etcheverry again responded, saving a set point, and hitting a running forehand pass to break back and force a tiebreak. There, the Canadian gained the upper hand, winning three consecutive points to build a 5-2 lead, before closing the set 7-6(3) in 68 minutes.

The Richmond Hill, Ontario player maintained his balanced and controlled aggression in the second, striking a pair of clean winners to break for a 3-1 lead, while calmly keeping his nerve in his service games, despite amassing 12 double faults over the course of the match.

See also: Shapovalov rallies past Diaz Acosta in Madrid

Shapovalov won 20 of 24 first serve points, frequently keeping the Argentinian off balance and unable to create opportunities on return.

At 5-3, 15-15, a perfectly measured lob winner positioned him well in the final game. A final forehand strike that hit the baseline forced an error from Etcheverry to secure the victory.

It was Shapovalov’s second win over a top 30 opponent this season, and first career match with the Argentine.

The 25-year-old Canadian is through to the third round of Madrid for the first time since reaching the semi-finals in 2018.  

Shapovalov will await the winner of Borna Coric or Alexander Zverev Sunday, as he aims to return to the round of 16 at a Masters 1000 for the first time since 2022.