The last representative of the maple leaf competing in singles at the United States Open has given up. After an epic battle, Denis Shapovalov admitted defeat against Andrey Rublev on Saturday in New York.
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Tennis fans gathered at the Grandstand got their money’s worth. After more than four hours of play, the Russian won in five sets of 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4 and 7-6 (7).
Shapovalov was carried away by the energy of desperation when trailing 5-4 in the final set. Among other things, he used his devastating one-handed backhand to save three match points, and then forced the tiebreaker.
Remember that the goal to achieve in the tiebreaker in the fifth set is 10 points in this Grand Slam tournament. The Ontarian fell considerably behind 8-4 and finally lowered the flag on the fifth match point of the ninth seed.
It’s an unfortunate result for “Shapo”, who led two sets to one and 4-3 in the fourth set. It was, however, broken at the most important moment of the round and Rublev reset the counters.
To illustrate how the duel was decided on a thread, the two tennis players finished the meeting with 182 points and 26 games each. They both converted four break points, but Shapovalov was considerably less opportunistic than his rival, failing to take advantage of 13 of his 17 chances.
Shapovalov, 19th seed, however, was slightly better than his rival when it came to points won when in possession (65% vs. 64%) and on return (36% to 35%) .
In the round of 16, Rublev will cross swords with the seventh seed, Briton Cameron Norrie.