In the battle of the NextGen stars, Denis Shapovalov took down Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 16 minutes for the 29th Masters 1000 victory. It was their fourth meeting and the third triumph for the Canadian who dropped 12 points in his games and never faced a break point to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
Frances was miles away from those numbers in his games, offering 14 break chances to Denis and getting broken three times to push the Candian into the second round where he will face world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Denis had 22 winners and 20 unforced errors, dominating in the mid-range exchanges to cross the finish line and make a winning start at the penultimate Masters 1000 event of the season.
It was the worst possible start for Tiafoe who had to play against eight break points in the very first game of the match, repelling them all to bring the game home after 15 minutes before Denis grabbed a break four games later with a volley for a 3-2 lead.
Shapovalov held at love to cement the break and closed the opener with four winners in the tenth game, dominating on serve in set number two as well and waiting for a chance on the return. Frances suffered a break in the fifth game after a loose volley and again two games later when Denis forced a backhand error, allowing his rival to cross the finish line with four winners at 5-2 and set that Djokovic clash.
Albert-Ramos Vinolas earned the 48th Masters 1000 win, beating the struggling Croat Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes to advance into the second round where he plays against Roger Federer whom he defeated in Shanghai four years ago.
The Spaniard dropped 12 points in his games, never facing a break point and taming his shots nicely to stay away from too many errors, toppling Marin in the mid-range exchanges to seal the deal in straight sets. Cilic faced three break chances and got broken once in each set to finish on the losing side in what has been a terrible year for him so far.
They stayed neck and neck in the first eight games before Marin hit a double fault to send the rival in front, with Ramos-Vinolas closing the set with a hold at 15 a few minutes later. Albert grabbed another break of serve at 3-3 in set number two following a tragic forehand from Cilic, taking the advantage and sealing the deal with a forehand down the line winner at 5-4 to advance and join Federer in the second round.