Struff Shines Against Shapovalov In Monte-Carlo
It was another day to remember for Jan-Lennard Struff at an ATP Masters 1000 event on Monday.
The 28-year-old German, who defeated Alexander Zverev at the BNP Paribas Open last month, recovered from a set down to beat Denis Shapovalov 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in the first round of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Struff, who won 72 per cent of first-serve points (33/46), is now just one win away from reaching the third round in the Principality for the third straight year.
But Struff will need to be at his best if he is to return to the last 16. The 6'5" right-hander will meet last year's semi-finalist, Grigor Dimitrov, for the third time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (1-1) in the second round. Two years ago, Struff claimed his only victory against Dimitrov with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory at this event. The Bulgarian defeated Italian Matteo Berrettini on Sunday.
Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev led Italian Fabio Fognini 6-4, 4-1, but the 13th seed stormed back for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory on Court Rainier III. Cheered on by strong crowd support, Fognini saved 13 break points (13/17) in the two-hour, 30-minute battle. The 2013 semi-finalist will face Gilles Simon or Alexei Popyrin for a place in the third round.
Also through to the second round after dropping the opening set is Roberto Bautista Agut. The Spaniard recovered emphatically to beat John Millman 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 and set a second-round meeting with countryman and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal. On Court 2, Munar confirmed a meeting with Borna Coric after cruising past fellow wild card Lucas Catarina of Monaco 6-0, 6-3.