ATP Shanghai: Chinese emperor Novak Djokovic eases past Denis Shapovalov

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ATP Shanghai: Chinese emperor Novak Djokovic eases past Denis Shapovalov

Facing each other for the third time in 2019, Novak Djokovic scored the third victory over Denis Shapovalov, beating the youngster 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes for the winning start in Shanghai. After claiming 500 points in Tokyo last week, Novak is the top favorite in Shanghai as well, hoping to defend 1000 points from the previous year and move even closer to Rafael Nadal in the ATP Race.

World no. 1 was always in control, dropping eight points behind the initial shot and fending off the only break chance offered to Denis, mounting the pressure on the other side of the net. The Canadian lost 46% of the points in his games, giving serve away three times from six chances offered to Novak and not being able to challenge world's leading player a little bit longer.

Firing 21 winners and 12 unforced errors, Djokovic kept everything under control with many service winners and a clear edge in the shortest and more extended exchanges. Serving at 76%, Djokovic dropped one point on serve in the first set, delivering one good hold after another and earning two breaks chances in the second game of the match.

Denis repelled those and stayed in touch for 30 minutes before Novak grabbed a break in the seventh game following a backhand error from the youngster, closing the set with a hold at love in game nine for a 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Djokovic netted a backhand in the second game of the second set to offer a break chance to Denis, repelling it when Shapovalov sent a forehand long and never facing troubles on serve again. The Canadian suffered a break at 2-2 when his backhand found the net, sending Novak 4-2 in front and getting broken in game nine to push the Serb over the top.

On Thursday, Djokovic will face John Isner in the battle for the quarter-final, seeking the 34th victory in Shanghai and more points on his tally.