Denis Shapovalov of Canada plays a forehand return to Reilly Opelka of the U.S. during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (Simon Baker/AP Photo)
| January 21, 2022, 2:46 AM
January 21, 2022, 2:46 AM
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has advanced to the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the first time.
In a battle of small margins, Denis takes out the big-serving Reilly Opelka to secure his place in the second week of the @AustralianOpen.
COME ON.#TennisNation | #AusOpen | @nationalbank pic.twitter.com/lI9I09HAxd
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) January 21, 2022
The No. 14 seed, from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat No. 23 seed Reilly Opelka of the United States 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a third-round match on Friday.
Shapovalov, making his third appearance in the third round at the first Grand Slam of the season, has gone at least four sets in all three matches this week.
The Canadian won 83 per cent of points when he got his first serve in against Opelka.
The 22-year-old Shapovalov will next face the winner of a match between No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and qualifier Radu Albot of Moldova.
Meanwhile, No. 9 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal will square off with No. 24 seed Daniel Evans of Great Britain in a third-round match on Saturday.
Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov teamed up to lead Canada to a win in the ATP Cup earlier this month in Australia.