Shapovalov lost in the first round at the National Bank Open


An open double fault. Two exits. Another mistake about the match ball.

Denis Shapovalov’s rain-suspended bout ended shortly after it resumed on Tuesday afternoon as he beat Australia’s Alex de Minaur 7-5, 7-6 (4) at the National Bank Open .

The players had had a tight battle the night before but the rain was forced to adjourn with a draw in third place. Shapovalov hoped to get the decisive third set but instead, Shapovalov was eliminated after just a few minutes on the field.

“I’ve never had this exact experience before, so it’s very difficult,” Shapovalov said.

Results capped a tough day for the Canadians in a singles draw with 56 players. Vasek Pospisil decided 6-4, 6-4 against American Tommy Paul and Bulgarian No 15 seed Grigor Dimitrov won 6-4, 7-5 over Alexis Galarneau of Laval, Que.

That makes sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal the last remaining Canadian to play singles. He has bye-bye to the first round and will likely play the opening game on Wednesday.

A groan could be heard during last Friday’s draw when de Minaur’s name was called out as Shapovalov’s first opponent.

At 21st place, de Minaur is one place ahead of Shapovalov in the world rankings. The five-time ATP Tour champion has also beaten the Canadian in both previous meetings at the professional level.

De Minaur was not disappointed by Shapovalov’s game of power in the game and was able to handle the left winger’s wide serves. Excellent hunting skills helped reduce the aggressiveness of the Canadians and led to a number of mistakes.

“I think I did a lot of good things yesterday, I played some great points,” Shapovalov said. “I feel like I’m starting to get motivated in the game. I think I’m in charge and playing a good level of tennis.”

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., has scored just one win since beating Rafael Nadal last May in Rome. He was scheduled to play doubles with Russia’s Karen Khachanov later in the day against India’s Rohan Bopanna and Netherlands’ Matwe Middelkoop.

Pospisil, meanwhile, had three break points in the final game of the opening set but failed to convert. Paul went on to finish the win in an hour and 25 minutes.

“(It’s) definitely not one of my best matches,” Pospisil said. “Tommy played his game. He didn’t play anything so well that I couldn’t give myself a better look. But yeah, it wasn’t the best game. There were moments. good engraving, but inconsistent.”

A native of Vernon, BC, entered into a doubles draw with Italy’s Jannik Sinner. Cleeve Harper of Calgary and Liam Draxl of Newmarket, Ont., are other Canadians in doubles.

Tuesday’s opening session was delayed by about 90 minutes due to wet weather. Another downpour forced a 20-minute pause in the afternoon.

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, who won last week in Washington, beat Argentina’s Sebastian Baez 6-4, 6-4 to set up an intriguing second-round tie with top-ranked Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

13th seed Marin Cilic beat compatriot Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3, 6-2. Other seeded players for promotion are Spain’s 14 Roberto Bautista Agut and France’s 17th Gael Monfils.

The lone disappointment in the afternoon game saw Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta surprise 11th seed Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2.

British wildcard Andy Murray, who was ranked No. 1 in the world by the Professional Tennis Association for 41 consecutive weeks in 2016, couldn’t find that old magic ahead of 10th-seeded Taylor. Fritz of San Diego in the evening game.

Fritz quickly knocked out 35-year-old Murray, winning 6-1, 6-3.

The $6.57 million tournament will continue through Sunday.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on August 9, 2022.

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