ATP Winston-Salem: Shapovalov downs Kecmanovic. Tiafoe advances


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ATP Winston-Salem: Shapovalov downs Kecmanovic. Tiafoe advances

Pablo Carreno Busta has lost 40 positions in the ranking since the beginning of the season, sidelined for more than two months due to an injury suffered in Cordoba in February. After reaching the third round in Cincinnati last week, Pablo is through to the fourth quarter-final in 2019 thanks to a 7-6, 6-0 win over the 7th seed Lorenzo Sonego in an hour and 40 minutes.

Sonego won their match in Antalya in June and had the upper hand in the first five games today as well, opening a 4-1 advantage before the Spaniard broke back in game seven, converting the sixth set point in the tie break and marching through set number two with a bagel in some 25 minutes to advance and stay in the title chase.

After another early exit in Cincinnati, Frances Tiafoe decided to take a wild card and it turned out to be a great decision, reaching the fourth quarter-final and the first since May when Filip Krajinovic had to retire after losing the opening set 6-2.

Frances served at only 42% although no one could have noticed that, dropping three points in four service games and rattling off five straight games with a double break before the Serb decided to retire and push the American through after 35 minutes.

The 3rd seed Hubert Hurkacz also didn't have to stay on the court until the end, with Feliciano Lopez retiring while trailing 6-3, 3-1 after 55 minutes. Hubert lost ten points in seven service games, suffering one break and delivering three before the experienced Spaniard had to end the match after the fourth game of the second set and propel the youngster into the fourth quarter-final in 2019.

Just like Tiafoe, Denis Shapovalov needed more matches ahead of the US Open, playing well against the coeval Miomir Kecmanovic to notch a 6-2, 6-3 victory in an hour and 16 minutes, saving four out of six break points and dominating on the return to leave the Serb behind.

Miomir has been playing well in the last couple of weeks but couldn't do much today, facing 16 break chances and giving serve away five times to end his campaign in the third round. The Canadian found the rhythm right from the start, taking the first game with a forehand winner and creating six opportunities on the return in game two.

Kecmanovic fended them off to avoid an early setback before Shapovalov broke him at 15 in game four top open a 3-1 gap. The Canadian grabbed another break in game six when Kecmanovic sprayed a forehand error, giving serve away in the next game after a loose forehand but closing the opener with two winners and two double faults from Miomir for a 6-2 after 37 minutes.

Denis raced into a 3-0 lead in set number two, wasting three break chances in the fourth game and losing the edge a little bit in those moments, allowing Miomir to come back to 3-3 and create two break opportunities in the seventh game.

Shapovalov saved those with two winners, hitting two more to close the game and stealing Miomir's serve in the next game to move 5-3 up. Serving for the triumph, Denis blasted four winners in game nine to seal the deal and deliver one of his best performances in 2019, especially after Miami when he played his last notable tournament.