World No. 1 Novak Djokovic eased past Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-3 to reach the third round of the Shanghai Masters where he is aiming to collect his 34th Masters 1000 title and close the gap on Rafa Nadal who leads that table with 35.
It feels very good to play as well as I did today, considering I had only a little hit, warmup today on the Centre court before the match Novak Djokovic
Djokovic, fresh from winning the Tokyo title last week, made a fast start to the defence of his Shanghai title and progress to a meeting with John Isner, who in turn eliminated Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-3, for a place in the last 16.
The 32-year-old Serb, who is getting back to his best after pulling out of the US Open with a shoulder injury, was barely troubled by the 20-year-old Canadian prospect and secured his victory in just 70-minutes in what was the third meeting of the year for the pair.
Shapovalov’s misfired backhand provided the 16-time major winner a break at 5-3 in the first set which he then duly pocketed.
Djokovic, a four-time Shanghai winner, stormed through the second with two breaks with Shapovalov bringing it to a close with a forehand error.
“It’s nice to be back,” Djokovic said later. “And also, it feels very good to play as well as I did today, considering I had only a little hit, warmup today on the Centre court before the match. Obviously playing on Centre court and other courts is quite different.
“I came in late to Shanghai because of the Japan tournament. You know, I knew that Denis is very dangerous player, if he has time, if he’s feeling the ball well, it can be a tough match.”
Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem, who won the China Open in Beijing at the weekend, beat Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(3) 6-3 to set up a last-16 clash with Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.
After the opening set went with serve until the tiebreak, Thiem needed only one break of serve in the second to advance.
Fifth seed Alexander Zverev saved three set points in a 16-minute opening set tiebreak during his straight sets victory over French qualifier Jeremy Chardy, winning 7-6(13) 7-6(3) in one hour and 47 minutes.
“I felt a little dizzy and my head was spinning a little bit,” Zverev explained in his post-match interview as to why ahe had called a doctor during the match. “But the doctor didn’t speak a lot of English and all he wanted to do was give me pills for everything possible so I said I’d rather not take any pills and see if I feel better.”
Zverev plays next rising Russian star Andrey Rublev, who crushed Australia’s John Millman 6-2 6-0 to safely cruise into the third round.
Greece’s sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas came out on top in two tiebreaks to beat Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3) 7-6(3) in their second round match.
“I knew it was going to be tough, and it was very tough,” Tsitsipas, who plays Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz next, said.
“I think, mostly, the concentration that I have put and the work that I have put into that match, I still felt like I had to put a lot in order to get that outcome at the end.”