Canadian Denis Shapovalov advances to second round at French Open

Denis Shapovalov has advanced to the second round at the French Open (Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

PARIS — Denis Shapovalov is off to the second round of the French Open in his main draw debut at Roland Garros.

The Canadian teen, seeded 24th, defeated John Millman of Australia 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 in a first-round match on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver dropped a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (5) decision to Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in another first-round match. Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont., was scheduled to play his opening match later Tuesday.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the first set, fighting off one set point in the process.

He said he wasn’t concerned with his early struggles.

"My confidence on clay has grown," Shapovalov said. "My inner belief that I can come back is with me even during the tough moments."

After a rain delay halted play for an hour with Shapovalov trailing 2-3 in the second set, the Canadian lost just three games the rest of the way.

Shapovalov, 19, compiled a 32-9 edge in winners and converted six of 12 break points.

"I’m really happy with the win," Shapovalov said. "It’s not an easy match against John, he’s such an experienced player."

A year after losing in the opening round of qualifying in Paris, he is the second-youngest man in the French Open field.

Shapovalov will next face Maximilian Marterer of Germany, ranked 70th in the world, in the second round. Marterer defeated American Ryan Harrison 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday.

Shapovalov, 19, is competing in his fourth consecutive Grand Slam and his first as a seed. His best performance came in last year’s U.S. Open, where he reached the fourth round.

There are no Canadians entered in the women’s singles competition.

However, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatia’s Mate Pavic are the top-seeded duo in the mixed doubles draw. They won the mixed doubles title last January at the Australian Open.

Dabrowski is also playing in the women’s doubles competition with Yifan Xu of China. They are seeded fifth.

In men’s doubles, Toronto’s Daniel Nestor will team with Jeremy Chardy of France. Pospisil will team with Harrison and Adil Shamasdin of Pickering, Ont., will play with Sander Arends of the Netherlands.


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