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Denis Shapovalov gets Canada off to winning start at U.S. Open

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over American qualifier Sebastian Korda on Monday.

Shapovalov, the 12th seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., had to take a medical time out in the third set, but was dominant from that point on.

He ended with 13 aces and 35 winners, though his aggressive style also resulted in 43 unforced errors. Shapovalov won four of his 14 break point opportunities. He only faced break point twice, saving one of those chances.

The Canadian next faces the winner of a match between American Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil, Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., play their opening men’s singles matches Tuesday. Raonic is coming off a run to the final at the Western & Southern Open last week.

Top-seeded Karolina Pliskova advanced in consecutive sets with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Anhelina Kalinina, while on the men’s side, No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman blew a two-set lead and was knocked out by Cameron Norrie 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 in a match that took nearly four hours.

Later Monday, men’s top seed Novak Djokovic breezed past Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to win his fourth men’s championship and he cruised in his first-round matchup at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic pounded his chest and raised his racket in the air, keeping his celebratory routine intact even without fans in the stadium.

Djokovic is 24-0 in 2020 and has conquered 18 of his last 19 matches overall in Grand Slam tournaments.

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