Denis Shapovalov joined the long list of seeds to exit Wimbledon early this fortnight as he fell 0-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(3) to quirky Frenchman Benoit Paire.
The 19-year-old Shapovalov, seeded 26 at the All England Club, rued his missed opportunities, as he let the momentum he had from serving up a bagel in the opening set slip away.
“It was too good. He played a very good match and I didn’t play so well today. He deserved to win clearly today,” said the Canadian teen. “I had all the momentum after the first set, and I blew that. After that, he played really well and I wasn’t able to play well.”
“Obviously I wasn’t able to sustain my level today. Missing a lot of first serves. It’s probably the big key of it, but, you know, I just have to look over the match again and just do some brainstorming, find out why this kind of thing keeps happening.
“It was kind of the same story in the French Open. I had a lot of momentum going my way, and then all of a sudden it just slipped away from me. Yeah, it’s a little bit disappointing. I didn’t have a good grass court season. I got some tough draws. Wasn’t able to play my best tennis today, and, yeah, we’ll just have to move on from it and just learn from it.”
The 47th-ranked Paire, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, survived 37 winners off the Shapovalov racquet and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points, to advance and set up a third round against Juan Martin del Potro, who defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.
“Benoit is a tricky player. He has too much talent,” said Del Potro of his next opponent, Paire.
“He plays all the shots on court. He can play drop shots, serves and volleys, can play flat with forehands and backhands. Nobody know who’s going to play.
“But Benoit also is a great player on grass. In the third round everything could happen. I will try to play even better than today.”
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