Rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov admitted Argentine Guido Pella wasn't an easy opponent to play against following their Rome Masters first round clash. Shapovalov, seeded at No. 12, saw off world No. 37 Guido Pella in straight sets 6-2 6-3 to set up a second round meeting against Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
Pella, a former world No. 20, plays his best tennis on the clay surface, while Shapovalov prefers more faster surfaces. But world No. 14 Shapovalov had no problems dealing with Pella on the clay of Rome in his opener at the tournament.
"Guido is definitely not an easy match, especially on this surface,” said Shapovalov, on court, after the match. “I’m moving well, I’m struggling with jet lag a little bit, especially with the matches I’ve had, but I’m trying to do everything I can to recover.
I think I played at a high level today. I don’t know much about Pedro [Martinez], my next opponent, so I’ll get Mikhail [Youzhny] to help me out”.
Shapovalov broke Pella four times to win easily
Shapovalov pressured Pella early on in the match -- the Canadian failed to convert any of his three break point chances in the opening game of the match but claimed his first break of the match two games later.
The Canadian then broke Pella in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead, before he served out for the opener in the following game. Pella made a solid start to the second set as he served out his opening two games of the set for a 2-1 lead.
But Pella's game soon fell apart as Shapovalov win five of the next six games to claim a straight-set win. Shapovalov, who made the quarterfinal at the US Open last week, bounced back from the loss with a win in Rome.
"Yeah, there's definitely a lot of positives that I don't see right now (smiling)," Shapovalov said after losing in the US Open quarterfinal. "It's a tough moment. I was in that match, I had a good chance to win it.
I was almost in every set. "Very frustrating right now. Tough to look at positives. "But for sure, a hell of a run for me. I'm lucky to be in this position. Taylor Fritz was serving for the match against me. Could have been out by the third round. It's definitely a great week and a half for me."