Shapovalov, Rublev march on

Denis Shapovalov eased into the second round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, hitting 23 winners on his way to a 6-2 6-3 victory over fellow lefthander Guido Pella on Court Centrale.

Shapovalov became the first Canadian to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open last week and maintained his impressive run of form as he transitioned to clay at the Foro Italico. The No.12 seed recorded two breaks of serve in each set on his way to an 85-minute victory and a place in the next round where he will face qualifier Pedro Martinez.

No.9 seed Andrey Rublev looked equally as comfortable at the Italian Open despite a quick turnaround from New York where he also made the quarter-finals, dispatching qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4 6-4. This success took the Russian’s total wins this year to 20 and puts him second on the Tour behind Novak Djokovic (26 victories).

Rublev remained focused throughout the 98-minute affair, hitting seven aces and 25 winners as he saw off Bagnis on Court Centrale. Up next for Rublev is Hubert Hurkasz.