Rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov insisted he knew it wouldn't be easy against Portugal's Joao Sousa in the Cincinnati Masters first round. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 34 in the world, came from a set down to beat 43rd-ranked Sousa 2-6 6-3 6-2 and progress into the Cincinnati second round.
The head-to-head between the two now stands at 1-1. Earlier this year, Sousa recovered from a set down to beat Shapovalov in their Auckland first round clash. "It was a great match. I knew going into it that it was going to be very tough.
Obviously I had great support today, which really helps," Shapovalov told Tennis Channel after the match, as revealed on the ATP website. "It was a fantastic match. I was struggling a little bit at the beginning getting my rhythm, obviously coming here pretty late making the semis of [doubles] last week.
Late arrival, didn't have much time to practise on these courts, but I did a good job of just fighting and gutting it out today." Next up for Shapovalov will be this year's Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille, who beat Denis Kudla in his Cincinnati opener.