Denis Shapovalov is through to the third round of the 2019 US Open Tennis Championships following a straight-sets victory over Henri Laaksonen on a sunny afternoon at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York City.
The 20-year-old Canadian was clinical in his second-round clash with the Swiss No. 3, playing with measure off both his groundstrokes and serving with precision for a 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-2.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) August 29, 2019
After playing on level terms through the first nine games of the first set, Shapovalov was able to secure the coveted break in the tenth game, and along with it – the set. Although the second set saw zero breaks of serve on zero opportunities, Shapovalov’s comfort in front of the New York crowd (conveniently laced with Canadian flags, of course) was apparent in the tiebreak, which he would go on to win after one hour, 25 minutes of play.
The third set was all Shapo, as a clearly deflated Laaksonen was unable to mount much resistance on both serve and return. The No. 119 Swiss survived a marathon five-setter in the first round over Marco Cecchinato, and would have to head to five again if he was to reach his first career round-of-32 at a Slam.
But with an energized, confident and in-form Shapovalov standing in the way, it wasn’t meant to be. The Canadian was exceptional in the third set, using his chip return – a feature of his recent collaboration with former Top 10 player Mikhail Youzhny – to great effect and playing with the controlled power that had been missing from his game in recent months.
In just under two hours, the match was Shapovalov’s on a sliding ace out wide, bringing his ace tally to 14 and contributing 38 winners overall in the match to just 24 unforced errors. The Canadian No. 3 faced zero break points and dominated on serve, winning 84% of first serve points and 77% of service points overall.
He’ll face either Gael Monfils or Marius Copil in the third round on Saturday.