MADRID, SPAIN- APRIL 24: Images of Denis Shapovalov from Canada on day 1, photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Denis Shapovalov found his best tennis when he needed it, fighting past Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the Madrid Open.

In an all-left-handed showdown, it was Shapovalov who looked the better of the two players early, unleashing an aggressive baseline game and using his savvy net skills to rob his opponent of time and space.

After trading two service holds to begin the match, he capitalized on his third break point opportunity in the fifth game of the first set when Diaz Acosta misfired a backhand into the net. That early advantage was all he needed in a clinical opening set. The 25-year-old faced just one break point on serve and converted 10 of 12 points at net en route to a comfortable 6-4 score-line.

Read more: NCAA Update: Bianca Fernandez climbing up the rankings

Diaz Acosta sought medical treatment for a shoulder injury following the first set, and it appeared to loosen up his game as the momentum would shift in the second.

He capitalized on early errors from the Canadian and earned a break of serve for a quick 4-1 lead. Shapovalov, whose forehand was heavy and effective in the first, suddenly abandoned him in the second. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Buenos Aires native found more consistency, winning 13 of 15 first serve points, coasting to a comfortable 6-3 second set.

Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

He looked poised to run away with the match, carrying on his consistent tennis and using heavy angles around the court to capture an early break in the third.

However, Shapovalov would not be deterred.

After turning aside key break point chances to hold, the Canadian produced a deadly run of shot-making, reeling off eight consecutive points to seize a 3-2 advantage.

He further applied scoreboard pressure, and in a pivotal deuce game, he took hold of another opportunity. After a long exchange from the back of the court, the Ontario native ripped a lethal crosscourt forehand winner, raising his arms to appeal to the crowd as he secured another break of serve to forge ahead 4-2.

See also: Canadians in Action

Shapovalov would close out the match with another hold of serve at love, winning six of the final seven games and finishing with 34 winners to book his place in the round of 64.

He’ll face another Argentinian next; he meets world number 27 Tomás Martín Etcheverry on Friday.