Denis Shapovalov was tested Tuesday evening, but he served his way into the second round at the cinch Championships.
The second seed had to save a total of four set points between the two sets, but he clawed past Australian qualifier Aleksandar Vukic 7-6(6), 7-6(6) behind 20 aces.
“Definitely not an easy, breezy match,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview. “Super happy to be back here and get the win. I’ve got so many great memories over here at Queen’s. it’s so nice to see you fans back out here and I really appreciated the support today.”
Shapovalov won 83 per cent of his service points — including 90 per cent of his first-serve points — but he still found himself down 5/6 in the first-set tie-break and 3/6 in the second-set tie-break. The World No. 14 was able to stay calm during those points and avoid making mistakes to battle on.
“Any time of the grass-court season, it’s super tough to get a rhythm, so it’s very important to serve big,” Shapovalov said. “I think we both just served amazing today. I feel obviously very lucky to win this match today. It could have gone either way, so I’m very, very proud of myself.”
The Canadian will next play fellow lefty, Feliciano Lopez, who is a two-time singles champion at this tournament. The 39-year-old defeated Illya Marchenko 6-1, 7-6(6) on Monday.
Also in Shapovalov’s section, Frances Tiafoe beat Aljaz Bedene 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The American is in form after lifting an ATP Challenger Tour trophy last week in Nottingham.