ATP Auckland: Winning start for Shapovalov, Ferrer and Bautista Agut

Tennis - David Ferrer saved 2 set points in the opener against Yibing Wu, in the set that lasted almost 80 minutes

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Auckland: Winning start for Shapovalov, Ferrer and Bautista Agut

World number 50 and the youngest player in the Top 100, Denis Shapovalov, notched his first ATP win of the season after toppling Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva by 6-3 6-2 in just 56 minutes. In their first match in Montreal last year, Denis had to save 4 match points in a hard-fought 4-6 7-6 6-4 win, and it was a completely different encounter today, with him as the dominant figure. Young Canadian lost just 7 points on his serve, never facing a break point, and he took rival's serve 3 times from as many chances, winning 44% of the return points.

The first set was a tight one, with just 1 loose service game from Dutra Silva that cost him the set. Rogerio wasted 2 game points in the 6th game and he got broken after netting a backhand, falling 4-2 behind. Shapovalov didn't need a second invitation to clinch the set from there, blasting 3 service winners in game 9 for a 6-3.

Things became even better for the young Canadian when he broke his rival in the third game of the second set and he cemented his triumph with another break in game 7 when Brazilian sent a forehand long. Denis wrapped up his win with a service winner in game 8 for an impressive triumph, looking strong to go deep here in Auckland.

2016 champion Roberto Bautista Agut needed just 56 minutes to dismiss Michael Venus, a home player with a wild card. Venus is not even ranked in singles and he served at just 43% to stand no chance against such a strong opponent. Spaniard was always in front but he didn't play that well in the opening set, facing 6 break points and losing serve once, and he stole rival's serve 3 times for a 6-2.

Roberto raised his level in the second set and he lost just 3 points on serve to breeze past Michael and book the place in the second round. The first game of the match came in game 2 after a forehand winner from Bautista Agut, who saved 4 break points in the following game to stay in the lead.

Venus continued to push strong on the return and he pulled the break back in game 5 when Roberto sent a forehand wide. Nonetheless, Spaniard picked up his game quickly, clinching the final 12 points of the set for a commanding 6-2.

He was the only player on the court in set number 2, breaking Venus in the second game and again in game 6 after a double fault from the home player, and the match was over a few minutes later when Bautista Agut hit a service winner to complete his run and move to the last 16. First round results:


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Bautista Agut David Ferrer Yibing Wu