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Shapovalov, Rublev Shine In Melbourne

Denis Shapovalov emerged victorious in the only first-round match between #NextGenATP players at the Australian Open, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday.

After early losses at both the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the ASB Classic in Auckland, Shapovalov dispatched Tsitsipas in one hour and 56 minutes to notch his first career win at the tournament.

Denis Shapovalov scores first Australian Open win to defeat fellow #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open on Monday.
The Canadian hit 33 winners to his opponent’s 11 and broke serve on five occasions. And for the second time in as many Grand Slams, Shapovalov will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 15 seed, who cruised past American qualifier Kevin King 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

Tsonga took advantage of five of 15 break chances while saving all five opportunities held against him to make it 10 Australian Opens in a row that the 32-year-old has won at least one match at Melbourne Park. Shapovalov leads the pair's FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 1-0 after defeating the right-hander at the 2017 US Open in straight sets, also in the second round.

Andrey Rublev also showed his mettle in a meeting of two generations against 27-time ATP World Tour titlist David Ferrer to book a place in the second round 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2.

Seeded for the first time at a Grand Slam, Rublev was given the toughest of tests against Ferrer, who has reached the quarter-finals down under on six occasions. The Russian held two match points in the fourth set at 5-2 but was reeled in and forced to go the distance by his notoriously dogged opponent. Rublev eventually making the round of 64 after three hours and 50 minutes.

Rublev hit 77 winners in a match which saw a total of 21 breaks of serve and will be confident of going deep in the draw after a great start to the year, having reached the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final. The 20-year-old will meet Marcos Baghdatis, who ousted Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3 in his opener, for a place in the third round.

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