Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters

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SHANGHAI — Denis Shapovalov defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-2 at the Shanghai Masters on Monday, setting up a second-round encounter with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

The first game of the match stretched to 15 minutes before Tiafoe held serve, but Shapovalov eventually took control with a break in the first set and two more in the second.

“The start of the match was really important and I was trying to step up from the first game,” Shapovalov said. “I think the first game helped me find a rhythm on his serve.”

The 36th-ranked Shapovalov played the top-ranked Djokovic on two previous occasions, with both matches taking place this year.

He took Djokovic to four sets in the third round of the Australian Open, but only won four games in the second round at the Rome Masters.

“He’s beaten me twice so there’s not much for me to lose, so I’ll just go out there and enjoy myself,” Shapovalov said. “I’ll go out there and give it all I have.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but I have a great game and I think I have a chance to beat him.”

A Canadian citizen, Shapovalov was born in Israel and is currently a resident of the Bahamas. He said he hasn’t been back home since Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands in August.

“Obviously it’s terrible what has happened to the Bahamas,” he said, adding his home didn’t sustain much damage. “I’m going to try to see what I can do to give back.”

Fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil upset 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 7-6 (2), 6-2 in another first-round match.

The 10th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy faced little resistance from American Sam Querrey in a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Andy Murray, playing on a wildcard, faces Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero in Monday’s first night match.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.