Novak Djokovic began his title defense at the Rolex Shanghai Masters by pushing his set winning streak in Asia to 22 on Wednesday. The World No. 1 and top seed rolled past #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
“It’s nice to be back. And also, it feels very good to play as well as I did today,” Djokovic said. “I knew that Denis is a very dangerous player. If he has time, if he’s feeling the ball well, it can be a tough match.
“He was serving really well, the high percentage also first serves, and just really difficult to return in the first set, so it took me a little bit of time to really adjust, start reading his serve a little bit better.
“But I thought I served really well. I used angles. I was very solid from the back of the court. I had no problems with shoulder pain… So no concerns there. Everything is feeling and looking good.”
Djokovic, locked in as ever, upped the pressure at 4-3 in the opener with Shapovalov serving. The Serbian mixed up the pace against the 20-year-old and brought him forward, breaking when a Shapovalov backhand approach clipped the net and landed out.
The pressure was amplified in the second, and a loose service game from Shapovalov at 2-2 all but sealed it for the 33-time Masters 1000 titlist. Djokovic won all 10 sets he played last year in Shanghai and did the same last week when he won the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo.
“Because of the history that I had in this tournament and in general in the Asian Swing and lots of success and lots of matches won in my career, I actually feel less pressure because I’m more confident that I can perform at my best,” Djokovic said. Read More