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Carballes Baena upsets Shapovalov in epic fashion

Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena recorded the win of his career so far, upsetting Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6.

Shapovalov Roland Garros 2020 Denis Shapovalov (can)

Roland-Garros, second round

CARBALLES BAENA d. SHAPOVALOV (9) d. 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 3-6, 8-6

  • Key info: Shapovalov outscored Carballes Baena in most departments, including winners and net points. But in the end, it was the Spaniard who made the far fewer unforced errors, 37-98, and that made the difference.
  • You will also learn: Victory for the world No.101 means he next faces 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
  • Why read this story: Shapovalov was one of the great ‘Next-Gen’ hopes of this tournament, so this was quite the upset.

It was Carballes Baena who came out on top of a topsy-turvy opening set that featured no less than five breaks of serve, the Spaniard winning 7-5. And he soon had his Canadian opponent in early trouble in the second, breaking early to press home his advantage.

But Shapovalov isn’t the 9th seed for nothing, and hitting freely with easy power off both flanks, the left-hander broke back to force a tie-break. It was a tight affair and one you felt he had to win, also appearing to struggle with a leg issue. And win it he did, edging it 7-5 to level up proceedings.

Into the third, and again it was the Spaniard who gained the upper hand, breaking the Canadian early and holding that advantage to move within a set of victory.

The fourth set was a mirror image of the third, but this time it was Shapovalov who got the crucial break midway through the set, and he served out to take it to a decider.

Shapovalov the first to break in the 5th set

A break in the fifth for the Canadian seemed to have turned the tide in his favour. But just when it appeared that Shapovalov would round out victory, serving for the match, back came Carballes Baena, breaking again to level at 5-5.

Roberto Carballes Baena, Roland-Garros 2020

Amazingly, the pair then exchanged further breaks, Shapovalov squandering another chance to serve it out. And the Spaniard pounced on his opponent’s nervousness, breaking to seal the match as the Canadian volleyed long.

Victory for the world No.101 means he next faces 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the fourth round.


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