ATP Chengdu: Denis Shapovalov wins. Hyeon Chung and Taylor Fritz bow out


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ATP Chengdu: Denis Shapovalov wins. Hyeon Chung and Taylor Fritz bow out

Wednesday brought the remaining four first-round matches at the ATP 250 event in Chengdu, with the packed schedule coming on Thursday with eight second-round encounters. The 8th seed Denis Shapovalov was in action at the Laver Cup in Geneva during the weekend and had enough time to reach China and prepare for the tournament, beating Ricardas Berankis 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 11 minutes for the 23rd victory of the season.

Berankis won eight points more on the return than the Canadian but failed to convert any of nine break chances he created, facing only two break points and allowing Denis to seize both and advance into the next round. Shapovalov fended off five break points in the very first game four with winners, settling into a fine rhythm on serve in the following game and waiting for a chance on the return that came in game ten when Ricardas wasted a game point to suffering a break following a double fault that sent Denis 6-4 up.

The Canadian erased a break chance in the first game of the second set with a booming serve, facing an ultimate challenge at 3-3 and repelling all three break points with service winners, earning a break at 15 in the next game to move 5-3 in front and landing three unreturned serves in game nine to cross the finish line and reach the last 16.

Alexander Bublik earned the 11th ATP win in 2019, ousting Taylor Fritz 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in an hour and 46 minutes in the match with three breaks overall. Bublik blasted 25 aces and saved four out of five break chances against the rival who defeated Dominic Thiem in the Laver Cup on Sunday, breaking the American in the 12th game of the second and third sets to reach the next round.

The American grabbed a break in the first game of the match after a forehand error from Alexander who never got the opportunity to pull it back, with Taylor moving 6-4 in front with three winners in game ten after only half an hour.

In one of the crucial moments of the entire clash, Bublik fended off two break chances at the beginning of the second set with service winners, barely losing a point behind the initial shot in the rest of the set and finding the range on the return in the 12th game of the second set to take it 7-5 and gather the momentum ahead of the decider.

Just like in set number two, Alexander hit two incredible winners to save break points in the first game of the decider, serving well after that and taking four straight points on the return in the 12th game to steal Taylor's serve and move over the top when the American played a loose forehand.

Jordan Thompson prevailed against Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 28 minutes, saving three out of five break points and squandering a 5-2 advantage in the deciding set before bouncing back and sealing the deal with another break in game 12 for the place in the second round.

Hyeon Chung grabbed a wild card for the main draw but couldn't convert it into the fourth victory of the season, losing to Joao Sousa 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 54 minutes despite a perfect start. The Korean needed less than 30 minutes to claim the opening set 6-1 with three consecutive breaks, losing ground in set number two and staying in touch in the first seven games of the decider to forge a 4-3 lead.

Sousa held at 15 to level the score at 4-4, breaking Hyeon at 15 in the next game when the Korean sent a backhand long and holding at love in the tenth game to grab 12 of the last 14 points and advance into the last 16.