Canadians improved to 4-0 at the Shanghai Masters after wins by Felix Auger-Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil on Tuesday.
Vancouver’s Pospisil won his second match in as many days and just his third match of the season following back surgery as he prevailed 6-3, 7-5 over Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the second round.
Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime was leading qualifier Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-6 (5), 4-0 when the latter player retired.
Pospisil’s win over the 63rd-ranked Sousa currently has him shooting up 59 spots in the rankings after starting the week at No. 248.
Pospisil won 31 of 34 points when he got his first serve in, including 15 aces.
The 29-year-old Pospisil will face No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the third round.
The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime, ranked a career-high 19th this week, saved 12 of 14 break points to fend off a challenge from the 54th-ranked Bublik.
Shapovalov confident vs. Djokovic
Auger-Aliassime will meet No. 6 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the second round on Wednesday. The Canadian is 2-0 lifetime against the 21-year-old Tsitsipas, winning earlier this year at Indian Wells, Calif., (hard court) and London/Queen’s Club (grass court).
Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will face top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the second round on Wednesday.
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.”