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Shapovalov marches on

This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after he overcame Pedro Martinez 6-4 6-4 in the first match on Court Centrale.

The Canadian produced a solid performance, hitting 16 winners as he withstood a tough test from the Spanish qualifier who was making his debut at the Foro Italico.

Shapovalov, the No.12 seed, stayed mentally strong in the middle of the first set to come out on top after three straight breaks of serve and another competitive game where he was forced to save a break point. The next four games were more routine and allowed the 21-year-old to establish a one set lead after 48 minutes.

The second set was a highly competitive affair. Martinez broke his opponent to love on his way to 3-0 lead but was unable to maintain his advantage as Shapovalov displayed some of his trademark flair to work his way back into the set. A further break ensued to give the world No.14 the chance to serve for the match, a feat he achieved minutes later on his third match point.

Shapovalov, who reached the quarter-finals at the US Open last week, will face either No.7 seed Fabio Fognini or Ugo Humbert in the third round.

“I mean, luckily I’m still 21 years old, so the body is very, very young. But for sure it has not been super, super easy, especially, you know, wasn’t easy matches in New York and it’s definitely not been easy matches here. So it’s been a lot of tennis,” said Shapovalov.

“For sure I’m feeling it physically, no question about it. But, you know, I’m getting good treatment every day. Yeah, I mean, I’m just pushing through it. Of course it’s very tough. You know, especially after the Grand Slam, your body just kind of naturally wants to relax.Going into a match here is definitely a little bit difficult, but I’m really happy with the way I have been able to maintain my level and maintain physically.”

No.8 seed Diego Schwartzman, a semi-finalist at the Italian Open last year, progressed to the last 16 following a 6-4 7-6(1) triumph over Australia’s John Millman. Up next for the Argentine will be No.9 seed Andrey Rublev or Hubert Hurkacz.

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