Shapovalov defeats Kecmanovic to reach second round of Japan Open
SHANGHAI — Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil have advanced to the second round of the Shanghai Masters.
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat American Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-2 on Monday.
Vancouver's Pospisil, a qualifier for the tournament, upset No. 14 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 7-6 (2), 6-2.
The 20-year-old Shapovalov, ranked 36th in the world, won 27 of 29 points on first serve en route to a win over the 51st-ranked Tiafoe.
The first game of the match stretched to 15 minutes before Tiafoe held serve, but Shapovalov eventually took control with a break in the first set and two more in the second.
"The start of the match was really important and I was trying to step up from the first game," Shapovalov said. "I think the first game helped me find a rhythm on his serve."
Shapovalov, who has won 10 of his past 14 matches after some rough months during much of the spring and summer, next faces world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
He took Djokovic to four sets in the third round of the Australian Open, but only won four games in the second round at the Rome Masters.
"He's beaten me twice so there's not much for me to lose, so I'll just go out there and enjoy myself," Shapovalov said. "I'll go out there and give it all I have.
"It's going to be a tough one, but I have a great game and I think I have a chance to beat him."
Pospisil, whose ranking has slipped to 248th after a back injury sidelined him for the first half of 2019, now has two main-draw wins on the season.
Both have been upsets. He beat then-world No. 9 Karen Khachanov of Russia in the opening round of the U.S. Open before his win Monday over the 16th-ranked Schwartzman.
Pospisil was dominant with his first serve against Schwartzman, winning all 33 points when he got it in. Eleven of those were aces.
Pospisil will face world No. 63 Joao Sousa of Portugal in the second round on Tuesday.
Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime faces qualifier Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in a first-round match on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray continued to make progress in his comeback from injury by winning his first-round match.
The former No. 1 defeated Juan Ignacio Londero 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 for his fifth tour-level victory since undergoing right hip surgery in January.
The three-time Grand Slam champion struggled early but eventually outlasted the Argentine qualifier.
"The court is by far the fastest conditions that I have played in since I came back. I really struggled with that early on," Murray said. "I was mistiming the ball. I felt quite slow on the court, and he was pretty much dictating all of the points. I managed kind of early on in the second set to start putting a bit more on my ball, going for my shots a little bit more."
Murray is now 5-6 on tour since returning to action after his successful hip surgery. He won his first singles match at a tour-level event two weeks ago at Zhuhai, China, then made it to the China Open quarterfinals in Beijing last week.
"These last few weeks I have played more matches," Murray said. "It's starting to get a little bit more used to starting to compete at this level again.
"I think each week I have been feeling good, better. In the beginning I didn't necessarily feel good. But last couple of weeks have been, I think, much improved," he said.
Murray will next face 10th-seeded Fabio Fognini, who defeated American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 earlier Monday.
— With files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2019.