Cobolli upsets Shelton, Hanfmann earns Djokovic test in Geneva

Shapovalov, Griekspoor, Machac also advance at ATP 250
May 21, 2024
Gonet Geneva Open
Flavio Cobolli earns his second Top 20 win Tuesday with a comeback victory against Ben Shelton. By ATP Staff

Italian Flavio Cobolli mounted a comeback Tuesday at the Gonet Geneva Open, where he upset fourth seed Ben Shelton 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2 to earn his second Top 20 victory.

The heavy-hitting 22-year-old trailed Shelton by a set and a break before finding a key turning point when the American could nearly taste victory. Trailing 3-4 in the second set, Cobolli held four break points in that game, eventually converting one after three deuces with a stunning cat-and-mouse angle past the World No. 15.

Cobolli, World No. 56 in the PIF ATP Rankings, then raced to the finish line, sealing a two-hour, one-minute triumph by stepping in on the lefty’s second serve. Cobolli won 65 per cent of his second-serve return points, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

“This year, I’ve played against a lot of lefties,” Cobolli said. “I like to play lefties and you saw that today. I’m really happy. It was a difficult match but I’m really happy.”

Into his third tour-level quarter-final of the year, the Florence native, whose previous Top 20 victory came against Nicolas Jarry at this year’s Australian Open, next meets Alexander Shevchenko. The Kazakh advanced Tuesday after Emil Ruusuvuori withdrew due to illness.

After being held up by Monday evening rain, Yannick Hanfmann wasted little time in closing out victory against former World No. 1 Andy Murray.

Returning to court at the clay ATP 250 with a 7-5, 4-1 overnight lead in his first-round clash with Murray, the 32-year-old German held serve twice to complete a 7-5, 6-2 triumph. Hanfmann did not face a break point in his one-hour, 43-minute triumph, his 10th at tour-level this year.

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Awaiting the World No. 85 Hanfmann in the second round in Geneva is the current No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings, Novak Djokovic. It will be a first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair, both of whom are competing for the first time in Geneva this year.

Also on Tuesday, Denis Shapovalov produced a stunning comeback victory to reach the second round at an event where he made the final in 2021. The Canadian won 12 of 13 games from 1-4 down en route to a 7-5, 6-0 triumph against Federico Coria. The former World No. 10 Shapovalov will next play sixth seed Tallon Griekspoor, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 winner against Christopher Eubanks, during Wednesday’s evening session.

Nicolas Moreno De Alboran also advanced on Tuesday in Switzerland. The American raced past David Goffin 6-2, 6-1 for the fourth ATP Tour win of his career. The 26-year-old will play Tomas Machac in the second round, after the Czech upset eighth seed Jack Draper 7-6(6), 6-1. Machac saved all four break points he faced in his one-hour, 47-minute triumph, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

#NextGenATP star Alex Michelsen notched his second tour-level win on clay by downing his countryman Aleksandar Kovacevic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old Michelsen will contest another all-American battle in the second round when he takes on third seed Taylor Fritz.

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