Photo: FREY/TENNIS PHOTO NETWORK
It was an amazing start to The Championships for Canadian Vasek Pospisil, as he defeated Roberto Carballés Baena of Spain in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Although Denis Shapovalov was scheduled to play, a five-hour rain delay meant that Pospisil would be the only Canadian in action on Monday.
The Vernon native made sure to give Canada something to cheer about on opening day and played some tremendous tennis in his first-round match.
Pospisil was lights out from the get-go.
In the fourth game of the opening set, the World No. 65 had his first look at breaking Carballés Baena. However, the Spaniard fought off the break point and managed to hold.
Pospisil then had five break point opportunities in the sixth game and finally converted on his fifth attempt. He easily held in the ninth game to take the first set 6-3.
The Canadian was off to a dream start in the second set, breaking his opponent in the first game in under four minutes.
After Pospisil earned another break in the seventh game, Carballés Baena was able to break back and come within striking distance of the Canadian.
That momentum was short-lived for the Spaniard, as Pospisil broke Carballés Baena in the ninth to take the second set 6-3.
In the third set, Pospisil continued to dominate, breaking his opponent first and saving all four break points he faced.
In a battle dictated by power, it was very fitting that Pospisil closed out the match with an ace – his 18th today.
The powerful Canadian had 50 winners, won 77 percent of points on first serves, and won 72 percent of points on his second serves.
He will face American Frances Tiafoe, another powerful ball-striker, in the second round. Tiafoe stunned World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets earlier on Monday.
Pospisil and Tiafoe have only faced each other at an ATP Challenger event in 2017, which the Canadian won 6-1, 6-4.