Photo: Martin Sidorjak
There’s just something about Lloyd Harris that gives Denis Shapovalov a hard time.
The South African defeated the Canadian No. 2 for the third time in the last 13 months on Saturday at the Miami Open, claiming the second-round clash in straight sets.
All three of their meetings have been won by the world No. 44, who caused Shapovalov all kinds of problems on his own serve, breaking four times on his way to a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
With Shapovalov’s loss, there are no Canadians left in the singles draw in Miami.
The difficulties Harris causes Shapovalov were clear right from the start, as the Canadian went down 15-40 on his own serve in each of his first two service games. He managed to escape the first game, but sent a backhand long in the second to surrender an early break.
Despite managing to break back and level the set at 3-all, Shapovalov continued to struggle to protect his serve, trailing in every single game of the set. He was immediately broken back and then again as he served to stay alive at 3-5.
In the second set, Shapovalov seemed to clean up his serve and began holding serve easily. However, as he served to stay in the match at 4-5, the Canadian ran into trouble.
Having not faced a break point all set, he had to face three in that game, all of them match points, and despite saving the first two with impressive serve-and-one combinations, he double-faulted on the third to concede the match.
Shapovalov isn’t finished yet in Miami, although he will be in tough in his second-round doubles match as he and Rohan Bopanna will meet top seeds Nikola Metkic and Mate Pavic.
Dabrowski stands strong
While the singles players struggled, Gabriela Dabrowski kept the flag flying with a straight-forward first-round victory in the doubles with Giuliana Olmos.
Dabrowski and Olmos broke serve five times as they cruised past Lidziya Marozava and Sabrina Santamaria 6-3, 6-1.
The Canadian-Mexican pair are coming off a semi-final run in Indian Wells and are seeded sixth this week in Miami. They will play Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva for a spot in the quarter-finals.