Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov enjoyed playing against rising Italian star Jannik Sinner and the delight was even bigger after he ended on the winning side. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 12 in the world, edged out world No.
32 Sinner in a tight five-set clash 3-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open. “Matches like this are so much fun for me to play,” Shapovalov said in an on-court interview, per the ATP website.
“This is why I play the sport in front of fans like you guys, that are just so much fun for both guys. Win or lose, today is one of the matches that I am going to remember in my career, just because playing in one of these stadiums, the moment and the quality of tennis today, it was just so much fun to be out here”.
Shapovalov survived a tough clash
Sinner earned the first break of the match in the second game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener. Shapovalov claimed his first break of the match in the eighth game of the second set, before serving out for the set a game later.
Sinner led 2-1 after the opening three games of the third set but then Shapovalov claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to win the third set. The Canadian then claimed an early four-set break but Sinner bounced back and won the set to force a decider.
Shapovalov started the fifth set with a break and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to collect a tight win. “You don’t want to play long five-set [matches] at the beginning of the tournament, but I am just really happy to get the win,” said Shapovalov.
“Jannik is such a great opponent. Honestly, he is so talented, he is so great, such a great guy. I am really happy that he has been doing well. I am sure he is going to be a really, really good player. [He is] now, but in the future, for sure”.