It appears the transition from hard court to clay is seamless for rising Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, Ontario. On Tuesday, Shapovalov won his first career match at the French Open when he defeated John Millman of Australia in straight sets 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.
What was most impressive about Shapovalov’s victory was his ability to bounce back. Twice during the match Shapovalov was down a break during the set but was not only able to break Millman back in each set but was able to break him back twice.
There is no doubt that Shapovalov has some work to do with his overall consistency in order to be regularly mentioned amongst the current greats of the game such as Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Germany’s Alexander Zverev, but Shapovalov is steadily improving and there is no doubt that he could be in the top 10 by the end of 2018.
Currently ranked 24th at the French Open, Shapovalov will play Maximilian Marterer of Germany in the second round on Thursday. This will be their first career meeting. Marterer is currently 70th in the world, but was very impressive in defeating American Ryan Harrison in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 7-5 in the first round. Marterer reached the third round of the Australian Open where he beat Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany in the first round and upset Spanish star Fernando Verdasco in the second round.
Shapovalov is the only Canadian left in either the men’s or women’s singles draws. Vasek Pospisil and Peter Polansky both lost their first round matches.