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Canadian teen Shapovalov stages huge upset over Kyrgios


Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov upset Australia’s Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-3 on Monday night at the Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament.

Backed by a hometown crowd, the 17-year-old Shapovalov took advantage of the world No. 19 and Kyrgios’s many unforced errors on a beautiful evening that featured a light breeze at Aviva Centre.

“I think the atmosphere really carried me forward today,” said Shapovalov, whose family was in attendance.

“It’s tough playing the first time on center court but by the end of the match I felt like the crowd really liked it when I was getting pumped up.”

Shapovalov, who is a wild card in the tournament, was coming off a boys’ singles title at Wimbledon earlier this month. The Richmond Hill, Ont., native is the youngest player in the tournament. He’ll face Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the second round.

Shapovalov opened the third set with a convincing 2-0 lead, breaking Kyrgios in the second game. The Aussie continued to make unforced errors which Shapovalov was able to take advantage of.

Shapovalov carried that momentum into the third game, smashing his 11th ace of the match to take a 3-0 lead.

The winning game went to deuce before Shapovalov smashed an ace for advantage and then had a cross-court forehand winner to take the match.

“I just didn’t play great, he played well,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously he was excited, playing in front of his home crowd, I know what that feels like. To come off one of your biggest junior results and then play in one of your home tournaments, I know that feeling, it’s great.”

Teenager’s nerves calmed through first game

The Canadian looked nervous off the bat but was able to compose himself and launched an ace to take the first game of the first set.

He took the first set by overpowering the Aussie with his serve, taking the tiebreak 7-2. Shapovalov’s winner came off a big left-handed serve that was too much for Kyrgios to handle.

Shapovalov, who wore an almost identical kit to Kyrgios minus his white ball cap, carried that momentum into the second set.

But Kyrgios started to take control when he broke Shapovalov in the second game of the second set. Shapovalov came back to break Kyrgios in the next game, and the Canadian fist pumped in excitement.

Kyrgios broke Shapovalov again to take a 5-3 advantage and win the set.

Serving was a big point throughout the match. Kyrgios’s serve reached 219 kilometres per/hour while Shapovalov’s reached just 187 km/h. The Canadian finished with 12 aces against 13 from his opponent.

Kyrgios was seen chatting with the line judge on several occasions throughout the game. The righty had 12 double faults early on and finished the match with 18.

Diez, Polansky also advance

Canadians Steven Diez and Peter Polansky advanced to the second round earlier Monday.

Toronto’s Diez downed Britain’s Kyle Edmund 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 while Polansky, of Thornhill, Ont., advanced following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over American qualifier Tim Smyczek.

Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., was set to play American Sam Querrey on centre court Monday night.

Fourth-seeded Milos Raonic of Thornhill has a bye in the first round.

American No. 9 seed John Isner downed Dudi Sela of Israel 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 while Australia’s Bernard Tomic beat Columbia’s Alejandro Gonzalez 6-4, 7-6 (1) in afternoon draws.

Dmitry Tursunov 7-6 (5), 6-1, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson edged Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 7-6 (4), 6-3 and Croatia’s Borna Coric beat countryman Ivan Dodig 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

Canadian women suffer multiple rain delays 

Canadian Francoise Abanda saw her first-round match postponed because of the weather. Abanda will face qualifier Saisai Zheng of China on Tuesday.

The only Canadian in action on Monday was Gabriela Dabrowski. The 24-year-old, along with teammate Alla Kudryavtseva, lost in doubles 6-3, 6-2 against Romanians Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu.

Canadians Eugenie Bouchard and Aleksandra Wozniak were not in action on Monday.

The 42nd-ranked Bouchard will meet Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the first round on Tuesday, while Wozniak takes on Italy’s Sara Errani.

Kvitova, Stosur advance in straight sets

Petra Kvitova is one step closer to another Rogers Cup championship.

The Czech native, who won the Canadian tournament back in 2012, cruised to a first-round win over Magda Linette of Poland 6-1, 6-2 on Monday night in just 59 minutes.

Playing her first tournament since Wimbledon, Kvitova showed no signs of rust. The 26-year-old broke the 86th-seeded Linette four times — twice in each set — and ended the match with three aces.

Earlier in the day, Australia’s Samantha Stosur won a hard-fought opening-round match against Heather Watson.

Stosur avoided the upset, beating the 67th-ranked Watson in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

The tournament’s 13th seed struggled in the first set but found her rhythm in the second, breaking Watson’s serve on three occasions.

“To get through in straight sets, I’m pretty happy,” said Stosur, who reached the Rogers Cup final in 2011. “Overall I thought I served pretty well.”

CBC | Sports News

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