In what was a mouth-watering Australian Open 2021 clash even before it began, Denis Shapovalov outlasted Jannik Sinner in a five-set epic and in the process ended the latter’s 10-match winning streak. The final score-line read 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Shapovalov meanwhile had come into the match on a losing streak spanning six matches. However, fortunes were reversed when it mattered most.
Shapovalov hit a whopping total of 62 winners and won 74% of net points on his way to the win. The Canadian completed a happy day for his country as Canadians Milos Raonic and Felix Auger-Aliassime also advanced to the second round after wins in the first round matches. Further, it was redemption for Shapovalov who had lost at the same stage last year to Marton Fucsovics in four sets.
‘This is why I play the sport’ – Denis Shapovalov
Denis Shapovalov spoke after the match on court and said, “Matches like this are so much fun for me to play. This is why I play the sport in front of fans like you guys, that are just so much fun for both guys. Win or lose, today is one of the matches that I am going to remember in my career, just because playing in one of these stadiums, the moment and the quality of tennis today, it was just so much fun to be out here.”
“You don’t want to play long five-set [matches] at the beginning of the tournament, but I am just really happy to get the win. Jannik is such a great opponent. Honestly, he is so talented, he is so great, such a great guy. I am really happy that he has been doing well. I am sure he is going to be a really, really good player. [He is] now, but in the future, for sure,” he further said.
Shapovalov will face Australian Bernard Tomic in the second round.