NEW YORK — Denis Shapovalov's first set in the U.S. Open on Tuesday was over in a New York minute.
But it wasn't the 19th-seeded Canadian who took only 26 minutes to post a quick 6-2 victory in men's singles action.
Unheralded Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland jumped all over the favoured Richmond Hill, Ont., athlete, who was trying to improve Canada's first-round record at Flushing Meadows to 5-0 after singles victories on Monday by Leylah Annie Fernandez, Rebecca Marino, Bianca Andreescu and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
But Shapovalov, who made a run to the U.S. Open quarterfinals in 2020, was able to adjust and took the next two sets 6-4, 6-4, but was bounced 6-3 in the fourth by the 26-year-old Huesler to set up a win-or-go-home fifth set.
The 23-year-old Shapovalov seemed to shift into "serious" gear in the fifth and deciding set. By changing the tempo and his sense of urgency Shapovalov won 6-1 to advance to the next round.
"Super tough match and very happy to get the win. It was a battle, he (Huesler) was playing so well from the back," said Shapovalov after the win. "Probably have a celebration in the ice bath after this one."
The match, which was rescheduled several times during the day, took almost three hours to complete.
BASELINES: In women's singles action on Wednesday, Fernandez will play Ludmilla Samsonova of Russia, Marino faces Daria Snigur of Ukraine and Andreescu meets 15th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. On the men's side, Auger-Aliassime will face British player Jack Draper.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2022.
Gord Kurenoff, The Canadian Press