Canadian Denis Shapovalov clawed his way back from four match points in the second set to dispose of world no. 64 Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil in an epic three-setter (4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4) at Uniprix Stadium.
In the second round, the 18-year-old will go head-to-head against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, who toppled John Isner last night.
The world no.143, who just turned pro, blew away everyone in attendance. Trailing 6-4 in the second-set tiebreaker, Shapovalov fought off four match points by the 33-year-old Brazilian to force a third set. The teenager eventually broke his opponent and claimed the win. While the young lefthander’s talent and ability to win key points were no secret, his triumph today in the first round of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank is nothing short of extraordinary.
In the day’s other matches, David Goffin of Belgium, who is returning to the game after a serious ankle injury suffered at Roland-Garros, came back from behind to oust Yuichi Sugita of Japan in three sets (4-6, 6-1, 6-4). Young gun Borna Coric of Croatia defeated Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in two sets; Paolo Lorenzi of Italy overpowered teenager Frances Tiafoe of the US; Sam Querrey of the US took two sets to get the better of Vincent Millot of France and Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain crushed Karen Khachanov of Russia in three.
In life and in tennis, one man’s loss can be another man’s gain. Eliminated in the last round of the qualifying event, Ernesto Escobedo of the US was called up to replace Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who went out with a left side injury. Escobedo took the invitation very seriously—so seriously, in fact, that he muscled his way into the second round with a win over Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia (7-6(4), 6-4).