Canada’s Shapovalov wins opener over Carreno Busta in Rome


Canada's Denis Shapovalov. (Jim Rassol/AP)

ROME — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov is off to the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

The 20-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the opening round of the ATP Tour Masters 1000, clay-court event on Monday.

Shapovalov will face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the second round.

The win ended a four-match losing streak for the 22nd-ranked Shapovalov, who was 0-3 on clay in Europe since his run to the semifinals at the Miami Open, an ATP Masters 1000, hard-court tournament.

Shapovalov had a big edge on points won on the second serve, converting on 75 per cent of his opportunities as compared to 43 per cent for the 43rd-ranked Carreno Busta.

Shapovalov converted just one of 12 break-point opportunities against his opponent, but it was enough for the win. Carreno Busta did not have one break-point chance against Shapovalov.

The result evened the all-time head-to-head series between the two at 1-1. Carreno Busta beat Shapovalov in the round of 16 at the 2017 U.S. Open.

Earlier, Montreal Felix Auger-Aliassime lost 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 to No. 13 seed Borna Coric of Croatia in a first-round match.

It was a bit of revenge for Coric, who lost to the 18-year-old Canadian in a Miami Open quarterfinal.

Auger-Aliassime hasn’t been able to duplicate his success from the South American clay-court swing on the same surface in Europe in advance of the French Open. The 30th-ranked Auger-Aliassime is now 3-4 since his run to the semis on the hard-courts of Miami.

The Canadian had just one break-point opportunity against Coric, who had 10 of his own on Auger-Aliassime’s serve.

Coric won 81 per cent of first-serve points, 13 percentage points higher than Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime is scheduled to play a French Open tuneup event in Lyon, France next week.


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.