Rain washes away most of the action on Day 1 at the Jarry Tennis Center

Denis Shapovalov’s match was stopped in the second set tiebreak, after the Canadian lost the first set to Australian Alex de Minaur.


Can Denis Shapovalov find a way to win a tennis match?

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We will have to wait until Tuesday to find the answer to that question.

The Richmond Hill, Ontario, pride and Australian Alex de Minaur were locked in a battle of closely matched 23-year-olds when a torrential downpour halted first-round action at the National Bank Open on Monday night. The match at the IGA Stadium will resume on Tuesday afternoon, with De Minaur winning 7-5, 6-6 and the tie-break tied at 3-3. It will be the third match on center court after matches with Canadian wild cards Vasek Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau. Pospisil will play Tommy Paul of the USA at 11 am and Galarneau, a native of Laval, will take on Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, ranked 15th.

Shapovalov, who has been touted as a future Grand Slam champion, has struggled to win matches since beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Masters 1000 quarterfinals in Rome in early May.

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While the left-hander insisted on Sunday that he’s playing well, he admitted the results haven’t been there and he’s only won one of his last nine games.

The first set offered a microcosm of Shapovalov’s performance over the last three months. His serving was magnificent in the first five service games, as he put 81 per cent of his first serves into play and won 21 of 24 points on his serve. Needing a check in game 12 to force a tiebreaker, his game broke. He served his fifth ace early in the game, but two loose points allowed De Minaur to take the game to two and the Aussie won the next two points for the break and the set.

Shapovalov gained an early lead in the second set when he broke De Minaur in the third game and then fought off two break points in the next game as he delivered two unrecoverable serves. De Minaur tied it at 4-4 when Shapovalov double-faulted on break point.

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The up-and-down nature of Shapovalov’s game also showed in the tiebreaker. He landed three straight forehands to take a 3-1 lead, but let De Minaur equalize even with two errors.

The rain proved to be a headache at both ends of Monday’s schedule. There was a five hour delay in starting the day session. The rain was forecast to resume at 6:00 p.m., but it lingered long enough to provide entertainment for the evening crowd, even if there was an unsatisfying and wet conclusion.

Two other games were suspended due to rain and eight games were postponed. The result is a busy schedule for Tuesday with organizers moving the start up an hour to 11am as they hope the forecaster’s prediction of morning showers turns out to be wrong.

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Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka looked uncomfortable in his first hard-court match since last March, losing a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 decision to Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland. Wawrinka, 37, a three-time Grand Slam champion, is returning from a left foot injury that sidelined him for most of last year.

Russian Karen Khachanov defeated Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3; USA’s Jenson Brooksby defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 6-2, 6-3 and Slovakia’s Alec Molcan eliminated USA’s Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(1), 6-4.

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