Shapovalov will survive a four-hour, five-set marathon with Nakashima in the first round of the French Open
The Canadian surpasses the American 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 advance to the French Open 22nd round
It wasn’t always high quality, but it sure was dramatic. Former top 10 player Denis Shapovalov took on the future top 10 player on day two of Roland Garros. Canada’s Shapovalov hit a career high #10 last fall 2020 but fell out of the top 30 at #32.
Twenty-four-year-old Southpaw with one professional title has had some notable victories over the former world champion #1s and Grand Slam champions Rafa Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Andy Murray. Shapovalov sought redemption; with this season’s win/loss record below 500 (7-9), he has yet to get beyond the second round in Paris.
Brandon Nakashima from the United States is the reigning next generation ATP Finals champion and just two places below his career high #43. Three years younger than his opponent, the San Diego native secured his first and so far only tour-level title last September at the San Diego Open.
With two losses this season to compatriot Mackie McDonald and two losses at the hands of the Spaniard and the world #34 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a new generation phenomenon, is also below 500 this season (6-7).
Nakashima reached the third round last spring in Paris and won his only previous match at tour level in July at Wimbledon in four sets. The North American battle on terre battue opened the game on the court 7.
Nakashima served first, and the winner with a backhand volley to the left held 15 while Shapovalov hit two aces and a double fault and held thirty To the level. 3/ /5 the first serves and holds 15serve and volley on the point of play while Shapovalov, in his aggressive court position, hit the inside forehand and held 15 Down 2-2.
Nakashima hit his first ace, but with three unforced errors, he hit a break point and dropped the serve. The Canadian opened sixth with a second double fault and two additional unforced faults, giving up the break. The American did 7/ /8 first serve, but with a backhand shot at the net and a rejected serve when his opponent made a forehand hit along the line.
Shapovalov serving with new balls, opened and closed with winners to consolidate break in love 5-3. Nakashima opened ninth with an ace in the tee and held it easily 15 Down 4-5. Shapovalov served for a set, but it was not routine. Although he hit a third ace, he made two double faults. Reached double set point and then breakpoint, but with two consecutive winners and Nakashima’s soggy backhand, he secured a set 6-4.
Nakashima served first in the second and thanks to a fantastic backhand volley-push winner, he held thirty while Shapovalov hit an amazing inside forehand and his fourth ace to equalize. The American missed 2/ /4 the first one serves but is loved 2-1 while the Canadian missed 4/ /8 the first serves, including his 5double fault, had a double break point and a deuce, but managed to keep it with his fifth ace 2-2.
Nakashima did a good job of absorbing his opponent’s pace as he held on thirty Down 3-2. Shapovalov opened sixth with a stunning left side, left side forehand combination and three additional winners, held until thirty Down 3-3.
Nakashima hit two outstanding winners, including a crosscourt backhand volley, and maintained a love for 4-3 while Shapovalov faced a break point on his sixth double fault, but with three outstanding forehand winners he struggled to equalise.
Nakashima opened ninth with two consecutive winners and a third held on thirty Down 5-4 while Shapovalov hit another forehand winner and his seventh double fault but managed to hold 15 Down 5-5.
Nakashima condoned two unforced faults, faced a triple break point and another volley fault, served, while Shapovalov made two forehand faults, but with two winning groundstrokes, sealed the set 7-5.
The American served first in the third and held on to the love while Shapovalov missed 4/ /6 the first service has yet to be maintained thirty for parity. Nakashima threw another successful serve and volley game and held thirty Down 2-1 while the Canadian, after changing the racket, held on easily 15 Down 2-2.
Nakashima hit two additional winners and held 15 Down 3-2 while Shapovalov tied three consecutive winners. The young American faced a break point with an ill-fated volley, but he equalized the hold with two consecutive first serves while Shapovalov cleared winners and drew faults, held on thirty Down 4-4.
Nakashima opened ninth with a third ace and three additional first serves 5-4. The server Shapovalov, who was supposed to stay in the set, committed two more double faults and lost the serve and the set with an unfortunate backhand.
Shapovalov left the field after the end of the third set. Nakashima opened a fourth overhead shot, and although he had a deuce and a break point, he held 1-0.
Shapovalov opened with a monster tee serve and a spectacular left hand forehand held level love while the American returned the favor with a love hold 2-1.
Shapovalov opened with a soggy backhand and three extra faults, faced two deuces and a break point, but with a powerful forehand on his return he managed to hold on for 2-2.
Nakashima opened the fifth goal with his fourth ace, serve and volley on the game, he maintained his love for 3-2. Shapovalov opened with two consecutive double faults, but held in disbelief thirty To the level. Nakashima conferred two unforced faults, including a double fault, but with two ground punch winners held thirty Down 4-3.
It was déjà vu for the Canadian, who opened with two consecutive double-faults, but this time he succumbed to the errors and threw the pass when his opponent hit the winner with a backhand volley. Nakashima with another volley winner snatched a set in love, forcing a deciding set.
Shapovalov called in a physiotherapist and took a medical break after the end of the fourth set. The Canadian opened fifth with a brilliant backhand down the line and an amazing left hand forehand held in love.
Nakashima was unusually prepared for his age, playing the deciding set against a seeded player, he struggled in his first service match. He missed 5/ /12 the first serve, including two consecutive double faults, had three 2’s and two break points, but held steady as the opponent’s pass went off target.
Shapovalov admitted his 14th double fault, opening a third but with a well-placed serve and an overhead shot held until thirty Down 2-1. Nakashima, in order not to be overshadowed by his opponent, opened the fourth with the fifth double fault! The 2022 new generation ATP The champion of the finals made two additional errors and after two break points he served with another forehand.
Old World #10 opened fifth with an overcooked forehand but with a point serve and depth off the ground, held thirty Down 4-1 while Nakashima was creating 5/ /6 the first serves and holds thirty Down 2-4.
Shapovalov missed four consecutive first serves, including another double fault, and faced a break point but held 5-2 with four amazing forehand winners. The American server who was supposed to stay in the match made 4/ /5 the first serves and holds 15forcing the opponent to serve.
The Canadian may not always make it easy, but it definitely makes it interesting. He opened 9th with a dazzling crosscourt forehand winner and another crush down the line, he closed the set and match for love.
The Canadian probably could have made the deal straight, but that would have been too profitable and boring for a packed crowd. Shapovalov is often his own worst enemy, but today he managed to stay calm and showed his best tennis when he needed it most.
Against a worthy opponent, he ended up with six aces, 15 double mistake and win 75% of the first i 54% of second serve points despite a first serve percentage of fifty-six. he wrote down 8/ /11 breakpoints during conversion 4/ /11. He got to the net 66 times, scoring thirty-one points and hitting fifty winners to sixty-eight unforced errors. He scored five points less, but won two more matches!
To advance to the third round for the first time in six attempts, he must significantly reduce unforced errors and increase rotation on the second serve. Going all out isn’t always the best strategy, but luckily for Shapovalov he had five sets to re-evaluate and execute.
Next up is 22-year-old Italian Matteo Arnaldi, who he has never played. A substitute in Milan last November for NextGen ATP Finals after Holger Rune retires, Arnaldi is currently #106 breaking into the top 100 on #99 earlier this month.