Russian Rublev rallies to beat Canadian Shapovalov in five sets at US Open


Russia’s Andrey Rublev rallied to beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-6(7) in a tough third-round singles match men’s Saturday at the US Open.

Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., had 23 aces and 76 game-winning points in the game, which lasted four hours seven minutes. But he also recorded 72 unforced errors, compared to 38 for ninth-seeded Rublev, who finished with nine aces and 38 winners.

And while both players recorded four service breaks, Rublev had half as many chances as Shapovalov (nine to 17). Shapovalov entered the match as the last remaining Canadian in singles at the Grand Slam event.

Rublev broke Shapovalov for the fourth time to go ahead 5-4 in the fifth set, but the Canadian, after saving three match points, recorded his fourth break of serve to make it 5-5. The two then detained serve to force the deciding tiebreaker.

After falling 3-0 behind, Shapovalov came back to make it 3-3. Rublev took a 5-3 lead and the Canadian came back again to make it 5-4.

Rublev took an 8-4 lead and Shapovalov fought back to make it 8-6. And he shot within 9-7, but that’s as close as Shapovalov would get.

Rublev and Shapovalov stayed on serve for the first nine games of the opening set before Rublev converted his first break attempt to secure the 6-4 victory. Shapovalov struggled with his first serve (39%) and failed to convert either of his two break points.

But the Canadian returned the favor in the second set, registering a pair of break points en route to a 5-1 advantage. After Rublev held serve, Shapovalov then did it for a 6-2 win to tie the game.

The Canadian improved his first serve to 51% entering the third set while registering seven aces to Rublev’s only one.

The two went back to holding serve for the first six games of the third set to force the tiebreaker. But the Canadian had the upper hand, winning 7-3 for a 2-1 advantage.

But Rublev forced a deciding fifth set by winning the fourth 6-4. And while Shapovalov had fired 18 aces by then – Rublev had five – the Canadian was only 52% on his first serve (Rublev was 60%) and both players had recorded three breaks, although that Shapovalov had double the opportunities (14 to 7).

BASELINES: Earlier in the day, Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and partner Daria Saville of Russia lost their women’s doubles second-round match 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-7 (10) against Bernarda Pera of Croatia and Dalma Galfia of Hungary. … Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski is now the last Canadian standing at the US Open in New York. She and her women’s doubles partner Giuliana Olmos will play the round of 16 against California’s Ena Shibahara and Asia Muhammad on Sunday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 3, 2022.


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