Denis Shapovalov Comes Back From a Set Down to Fend Off Marco Cecchinato at Geneva Open 2021

Published 05/20/2021, 8:52 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his third round match against Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov reached the quarter-finals of Geneva Open after fighting back from a set down to beat Italian Marco Cecchinato.

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Though the Italian carried a slight advantage into the round-of-16 clash, having won their only previous head-to-head meeting in 2017, there wasn’t much to separate the two players in the early exchanges.

Marco Cecchinato takes opening set via tiebreak

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With both holding serve and not managing to cash in on the breakpoint opportunities created, the set went to a tie-breaker at the end of the regulation 12 games.

However, it was the 104-ranked Italian who had the better of the exchanges in the tiebreak, edging out the World No.15 to take the opening set 7-4.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in action during his first round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The second set followed a similar pattern, as neither player managed to secure a break of serve over the other.

Denis Shapovalov hits back by winning the second set 7-5

The scorecard read 3-3 when Shapovalov played out another clinical service game to go 4-3 up. However, Cecchinato responded with a hold to love to make it 4-4.

The Canadian, who was close to taking down Rafael Nadal on clay in Rome before losing the plot to go down in three sets, came to Lyon eyeing a championship run.

At 30-15 on serve in the next game, Shapovalov reeled off a couple more points to come within a game of taking the match to a decider. However, with the Italian serving well, getting a break was easier said than done.

And so, it happened as Cecchinato dished out another clinical service game to make it 5-5. The Canadian hit back with a commanding hold to be back in the lead.

Serving to stay in the second set at 5-6, the Italian conceded two points to be trailing 15-30 in the next game. Stepping up the heat on the Cecchinato serve, Shapovalov brought up his sixth breakpoint and converted it to clinch the second set 6-5.

Shapovalov overwhelms Cecchinato in decider to wrap up contest

With confidence surging in his system, Shapovalov opened the final set with a clean hold to go 1-0 up.

Seeking an early break in the decider, the Canadian pressed his opponent’s serve in the next. At deuce, Shapovalov brought up another breakpoint.

However, the Italian pulled it back to deuce. However, cashing in on his second breakpoint of the game, the Canadian raced to a 2-0 lead in the decider.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov reacts during his third round match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Shapovalov followed up with another clinical service game to extend his lead to 3-0. Wary of conceding a double break, Cecchinato held to love in the next to get himself on the score sheet in the decider.

However, with another quality hold and a double break to follow, the Canadian came within another service game of wrapping up the contest.

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Shapovalov went 30-0 up and held to love to take the match 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-1.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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