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Korea Open: Shapovalov advances to quarters with win over Munar

Seoul (South Korea), Sep 28 (IANS) Canada’s Denis Shapovalov advanced to the quarterfinals of the Korea Open Tennis Championships with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Jaume Munar in his opening match at the ATP 250 event, here on Wednesday.

The World No 24 fired 31 winners to Munar’s 11 in his one-hour, 49-minute second-round victory, breaking the Spaniard twice in each set to reach his fifth tour-level quarter-final of 2022, and his first since May.

“Definitely super happy to get the win today. Obviously I had a very difficult opponent, he was playing some great tennis, so super happy to get the win,” said Shapovalov after opening a 1-0 lead in his ATP Head to Head series against Munar.

The 23-year old Shapovalov believes the outdoor hard courts in Seoul suit his game style as he seeks his first ATP Tour title since his 2019 triumph in Stockholm.

“(It is) definitely pretty quick. I feel like the courts are skidding a lot, the ball is skidding a lot through the shot, and I feel like if I can maintain my aggressive game style and serve well, and overall try to dictate, I think I can definitely do some damage here,” said the Canadian.

After starting his year by helping Team Canada to ATP Cup glory and reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, the 23-year-old Shapovalov has struggled for consistency this season. Yet he is feeling positive about his prospects in Seoul, where he will meet Radu Albot in the last eight after the Moldovan defeated Steve Johnson 7-6(3), 7-6(3).

“I have (no specific plans) in particular (to prepare). (I am) just trying to focus on myself this week, focus on my game… I feel like the courts suit me well here and I’ve been playing great in practice, so hopefully I can continue,” said Shapovalov.

Earlier in the day, Taro Daniel secured the remaining second-round spot in Seoul with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 win against Emilio Gomez. The Japanese World No 92 will next bid for his second ATP Tour quarter-final of the season when he faces countryman Yoshihito Nishioka on Thursday.

–IANS

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Kajal Aggarwal

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