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Denis Shapovalov takes a 4-1 lead in his budding ATP Head2Head rivalry with Taylor Fritz.

Shapovalov Saves Six Set Points, Beats Fritz In San Diego

Norrie beats fellow Briton Evans

Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov faced plenty of adversity on Thursday at the San Diego Open, but the Canadian found a way to win.

The dynamic lefty saved six set points in the first set before beating home favourite Taylor Fritz 7-6(7), 6-2 for a spot in the quarter-finals.

“I’m really happy to get the win, obviously. The first set was super, super tough for me and to come back like that was amazing,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview. “Definitely happy to be in San Diego, [it is] my first time. It’s such an amazing city.”

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Fritz is left to rue his missed opportunities, especially at 6/3 in the first-set tie-break. The American sprinted forward and had plenty of time to put away a poor drop volley from Shapovalov, but he hit his backhand into the net.

The 23-year-old had three more set points in the tie-break, but that was his best opportunity. Shapovalov took his first chance with a short forehand passing shot around Fritz.

“When you have a tough set, it obviously helps a lot to win that set. Then you try to keep that momentum going. Obviously when you lose a tough one like that, your momentum drops. It’s very important to keep the gas pedal on,” said Shapovalov, who now leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head 4-1. “I definitely started the second set super well and just carried it.”

The Wimbledon semi-finalist will next play Cameron Norrie, who defeated fellow Briton Daniel Evans 7-6(3), 6-3. Norrie beat Shapovalov 7-5, 6-3 in their only previous clash earlier this year in the Queen’s Club semi-finals.

Also a lefty, Norrie is enjoying the best season of his career and is at a career-high World No. 28. The 26-year-old lifted his first ATP Tour trophy earlier this year in Los Cabos.

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