Former top-10 player Denis Shapovalov celebrated his first victory of the season in Montpellier. The Canadian played well on an indoor court, ousting Hugo Gaston 6-1, 6-3 in 66 minutes, notching his first triumph since Wimbledon last year!
Shapovalov took a break after last year's The All England Club, taking time off the court to heal his troubled knee. Denis started the 2024 season with two losses in Auckland and Melbourne, returning to Europe and making a winning start in France.
Shapovalov served at 54% against Gaston. However, no one could notice that, as he fired 11 aces and only three double faults. Shapovalov dropped two points behind the first serve, defending all three break chances and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Hugo could not follow those numbers, losing half of the points in his games and suffering four breaks from ten chances offered to Denis. The Canadian made a reliable start, forcing the Frenchman's mistake and earning a break at love in the encounter's first game.
Denis cemented the lead with a service winner in the second game and pushed strong on the return in the next one. Shapovalov secured another break in game three after Gaston's lob error, forging a 3-0 advantage and gaining a boost.
The Canadian fired a forehand winner in the fourth game for a game point, seizing it with a booming serve and extending the gap. Denis secured another comfortable hold in the sixth game, firing a powerful serve and moving 5-1 in front, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the set.
Denis Shapovalov lost four games against Hugo Gaston in Montpellier.
Hugo experienced another break in the seventh game, dropping the opener 6-1 in 22 minutes after a loose tweener. Shapovalov held at love at the beginning of the second set and earned a break point in game two, squandering it with a backhand error.
Denis faced the first issues behind the initial shot in game three, offering Hugo two break points. Shapovalov denied the first with a booming serve and erased the second with a couple of crafty volleys at the net before holding for 2-1.
After missing his chances, Gaston struggled on his serve in game four. The Frenchman netted a backhand on the second break point, falling 3-1 behind and pushing the Canadian closer to the finish line.
Denis saved a break point with a booming serve in game five and held after a crafty slice crosscourt winner at the net for 4-1.
Hugo had to dig deep in the sixth game, playing against three break points and denying them to stay within one break deficit. A left-hander left those chances behind and fired a service winner in the seventh game for a hold at 15 and 5-2, forcing his rival to serve to stay in the match.
Gaston closed the eighth game, reducing the deficit to 5-3 before Shapovalov served for the win. Denis held at love with an ace, wrapping up his first victory since last July.