World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov was extremely happy that he managed to survive a tight opener at Wimbledon.
Shapovalov, seeded at No. 10, beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in five sets 6-4 4-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 to progress into the Wimbledon second round.
“It’s a great feeling to win this match especially against a great player like Philipp, who I watched a lot growing up,” said Shapovalov. “I am a huge fan of his game. It’s great to see him back in good form.
“It’s a huge weight off my back, going in the first round of a major and not knowing how the courts will play, especially as you can’t practise too much on it. I am really happy that I was able to pull through and come up with big points when I needed them. Philipp is a really, really tough competitor so it’s a good win for me.”
Shapovalov came up big in key moments
Shapovalov had two consecutive break points in the second game but failed to convert.
No breaks were seen until the 10th game of the first set, when Shapovalov broke Kohlschreiber to win the opening set.
After losing the first set, Kohlschreiber made a good start to the second set as he broke Shapovalov in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
Kohlschreiber failed to convert a break point in the fifth game but served out for the second set in the 10th game.
Shapovalov failed to convert a break point in the second game of the third set but broke Kohlschreiber in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.
Shapovalov saved three break points in the seventh game and three more break points in the ninth game to win the third set.
Kohlschreiber broke Shapovalov in the eighth game of the fourth set but failed to serve out for the set a game later.
However, Kohlschreiber kept his focus as he broke Shapovalov in the 12th game to force a decider.
In the fifth set, Shapovalov broke Kohlschreiber in the seventh game and then held on to his serve to seal a five-set win.