Canada's Shapovalov beats Johnson in straight sets at Japan Open

Denis Shapovalov of Canada celebrates his win over Steve Johnson of the U.S. during a singles match in the Rakuten Open tennis championships at Ariake Colosseum Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Tokyo. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP Photo)

TOKYO (AP) -- Denis Shapovalov put up a near-perfect serving performance to beat Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6 (3) at the Japan Open on Wednesday.

The seventh-seeded Canadian conceded only one point on his first serve and had 11 aces. Shapovalov, who lost in the semifinals four years ago, will next take on Japanese qualifier Rio Noguchi for a place in the quarterfinals.

''(This was) definitely one of my best serving matches,'' Shapovalov said. ``I kind of felt like I needed to against Steve ? I'm very happy with my serving performance today and hopefully I can keep it up throughout the week.''

Also, Miomir Kecmanovic came back to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2, and Kwon Soon-woo defeated Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2.

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