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Rain interrupts Cilic as Shapovalov breaks new ground

16 May 2018 00:24

Inclement weather brought a premature end to the action at the Internazionali d'Italia on Tuesday as Marin Cilic's match against Ryan Harrison was halted at 3-3 in a first-set tie-break.

Under clearer skies earlier in the day, Denis Shapovalov earned an impressive come-from-behind victory to defeat 15th seed Tomas Berdych, setting up a second-round meeting with Robin Haase.

Like Shapovalov, David Goffin had to summon his fighting spirit after dropping the opening set to Marco Cecchinato, the world number 10 finding an extra gear to secure a 5-7 6-2 6-2 success and become the first name into the last 16.

He was joined by Philipp Kohlschreiber, who dumped out 13th seed Jack Sock 6-4 6-3, while Peter Gojowczyk also reached the third round after prevailing 6-3 6-4 against Lorenzo Sonego.

 

CILIC AND HARRISON MADE TO WAIT

There was little to choose between fourth seed Cilic and world number 57 Harrison in their second-round match before rain ensured the players will be forced to reconvene on Wednesday.

The only break points went Cilic's way in game three, but from a position of 0-40 down Harrison fought back to hold.

Harrison found himself under pressure in the initial stages of the breaker at 3-0 behind but reeled off three straight points to level before the showers came at the change of ends to hasten the players indoors.

 

SHAPOVALOV SURPRISES HIMSELF

After defeating Berdych 1-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5), Shapovalov will surpass Milos Raonic as Canada's top-ranked player - something the teenager was unaware of beforehand.

"I'm a little bit in shock," he said. "It's definitely happened extremely quickly. I've worked hard to try to achieve this a long time in my career. It's crazy that it's come so early... It's a reason to keep working, keep staying motivated and hopefully I can keep going.

"I just couldn't find my footing the first set. The clay is so different here. I haven't had really a chance to practise alone on the court, so I couldn't really get my timing. I just kept fighting, kept competing... I did a good job of just staying positive."

 

NADAL NEXT UP AFTER DZUMHUR VANQUISHES VERDASCO

Top seed Rafael Nadal, a seven-time champion at this event, enters the fray on Wednesday and in his way stands world number 31 Damir Dzumhur.

The Bosnian made light work of another Spaniard in the opening round, cruising past Fernando Verdasco 6-3 6-1 to book a clash with the King of Clay, who was surprisingly beaten in the Madrid Open quarter-finals by Dominic Thiem last week.

Lucas Pouille, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Diego Schwartzman were Tuesday's other first-round winners, while Stefanos Tsitsipas was 4-1 up in the opening set when Borna Coric retired with a neck problem.

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