Denis Shapovalov knocks off Vasek Pospisil in all-Canadian clash


Denis Shapovalov (Steve Christo/AP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Wednesday in a second-round match at the ASB Classic.

Shapovalov, the top-ranked Canadian at a career-high No. 13, received a bye into the second round.

Shapovalov will face France’s Ugo Humbert in a quarterfinal on Thursday.

The 146th-ranked Pospisil, from Vancouver, qualified for the ATP Tour 250 event by winning two matches before beating Joao Sousa of Portugal in the first round.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., and Pospisil were squaring off for the first time on tour at the Auckland event.

Shapovalov won 80 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, while Pospisil was at 68 per cent in the same category.

The two led Canada to a runner-up finish at the Davis Cup Finals in November in Madrid.

Both players have main-draw spots in next week’s Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam.

Shapovalov went 2-2 against top-20 opponents last week at the ATP Cup team event in Australia, beating then-No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 7 Alexander Zverev and losing three-setters to No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 18 Alex de Minaur.

Pospisil, 29, did not play in the ATP Cup.

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