Denis Shapovalov reacts to avoiding shock loss to Pablo Andujar in St. Petersburg

World No. 13 Denis Shapovalov insists Pablo Andujar is a “great player” and admitted that the Spaniard was a tough player to meet in his opener at the St. Petersburg Open. 

Shapovalov, seeded at No. 2, recovered from a set down to avoid a shock loss in St. Petersburg as he beat world No. 92 Andujar 2-6 6-3 6-0. 

Shapovaov had a first round bye and he started his campaign in St. Petersburg from the round-of-16. 

“Definitely very tough to play Pablo [in my] first round of a tournament. He’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” Shapovalov said in his on-court interview, per the ATP website. “I didn’t feel so great, but I just told myself to keep going.

“Obviously there was a lot of tennis to play, so [I] wanted to really turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

Shapovalov recovered in style to beat Andujar 

Andujar made a perfect start to the match, having broken Shapovalov in the opening game of the match. 

Andujar then had a chance to go up by a double break but Shapovalov saved two consecutive break points in the third game to get on the board. 

Andujar faced first break points in the sixth game but saved all three of the break points he faced to take a 4-2 lead. 

Andujar then earned his second break of the match in the seventh game, before saving a break point in the following game to serve out for the opener. 

Andujar had the first break point of the second set in the third game but Shapovalov saved it to take a 2-1 lead. 

After saving a break point in the third game, Shapovalov earned his first break of the match in the fourth game. 

Shapovalov then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. 

In the third set, Shapovalov earned three breaks and faced no break points to complete a comeback win and book a quarterfinal spot.

Shapovalov made the St. Petersburg semifinal last year.