Shanghai: Denis Shapovalov defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-2 at the Shanghai Masters on Monday, setting up a second-round encounter with defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The first game of the match stretched to 15 minutes before Tiafoe held serve, but Shapovalov eventually took control with a break in the first set and two more in the second.
“The start of the match was really important and I was trying to step up from the first game,” Shapovalov said. “I think the first game helped me find a rhythm on his serve.”
The 36th-ranked Shapovalov played the top-ranked Djokovic on two previous occasions, with both matches taking place this year.
He took Djokovic to four sets in the third round of the Australian Open, but only won four games in the second round at the Rome Masters.
“He’s beaten me twice so there’s not much for me to lose, so I’ll just go out there and enjoy myself,” Shapovalov said. “I’ll go out there and give it all I have.”