The last representative of Maple Leaf competing in singles at the US Open surrendered. After an epic battle, Denis Shapovalov conceded defeat to Andrei Rublev on Saturday in New York.
Tennis fans who gathered in the grandstand got their money’s worth. After more than four hours of play, the Russian won five sets of 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4 and 7-6 (7).
Shapovalov pulled away in despair when he trailed 5-4 in the final set. Among other things, he used his devastating one-handed backhand to save three match points, then forced the tiebreak.
Remember, the goal to be achieved in the fifth set tiebreak is 10 Grand Slam points. The Ontarians fell largely behind 8-4 and finally lowered the flag at game point five from the ninth seed.
It’s an unfortunate result for Shabu, who led two sets to one and 4-3 in the fourth. However, it was broken at the most important moment of the tour and Rublev reset the counters.
To illustrate how the duel was decided on a thread, tennis players finished the match with 182 points and 26 matches each. They both converted four break points, but Shapovalov was considerably less opportunistic than his opponent, failing to capitalize on 13 of his 17 chances.
But Shapovalov, the 19th seed, was slightly better than his opponent when it came to points won on possession (65% vs. 64%) and on return (36% to 35%).
In the round of 16, Rublev will face seventh-seeded Britain’s Cameron Norrie.
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