Australian Open

Shapovalov, Rublev make winning Open starts

2018-01-15 09:12
Denis Shapovalov (Getty)

Melbourne - Rising stars Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev tracked different routes in making winning starts to their Australian Open campaigns in Melbourne on Monday. 

Young Canadian Shapovalov showcased his exciting skills in an impressive straight sets first-up victory, while Rublev needed five sets to wear down Spanish slugger David Ferrer. 

Shapovalov, the 50th-ranked left-hander, reeled off a 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in just under two hours in his first appearance in Melbourne. 

Widely seen as one of the up-and-coming stars in men's tennis, the 18-year-old hammered 33 winners, backing up a strong service game. 

The Canadian made his entrance on the big stage in August with a win over Rafael Nadal at home in Montreal, before a run to the US Open last 16. 

Another of the so-called "NextGen" brigade, Russian Rublev overcame Spanish veteran Ferrer in five sets to advance to the next round. 

Rublev, the 30th seed, won an attritional battle with the doughty back-courter before prevailing 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 in 3hr 50min on an outside court to reach the second round for the second straight year. 

Rublev, the top-ranked Russian, reached the US Open quarter-finals last year where he lost to eventual champion Nadal after upsetting Grigor Dimitrov en route. 

The 20-year-old claimed 13 service breaks and hit 77 winners, 40 of them coming off his strong forehand, but offset by 91 unforced errors. 

It was a merited win for Rublev over the tigerish Ferrer, who was an Australian semi-finalist in 2013, the same year he lost to Nadal in the French Open final.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.