Miami, March 23: Rising Cadian star Denis Shapovalov blew a huge third-set lead but recovered just in time to eke out a 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-6) victory over Serbia's Viktor Troicki to reach the second round of the Miami Open tennis turment.
In a match-up pitting one of tennis' brightest and most exciting prospects against a 32-year-old ATP World Tour veteran, Shapovalov took an early 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game and then wrapped up the first set with a forehand winner on the line here on Thursday.
But Shapovalov made things complicated for himself by dropping his first service game of the second set to fall behind 2-0.
He broke back in the ensuing game but the players remained on serve until the tiebreaker, which Troicki won when the Cadian netted a forehand.
Shapovalov, however, appeared to take total control of the match when he broke Troicki's serve in the fourth and sixth games of the third set to take a 5-1 lead.
He then had match point when serving at 40-30 in the seventh game but ended up losing that game and then getting broken once again at 5-3 to allow Troicki to get back on serve. Shapovalov had three more match points on Troicki's serve in the 10th game, but the Serbian saved them all to make the score 5-5.
The match came down to a third-set tiebreaker, in which Shapovalov jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Serbian rallied once again and earned his first match point at 6-5. The 18-year-old Cadian saved it, however, with a serve-and-volley play and then clinched the victory two points later on a Troicki double fault at the two-hour, 27-minute mark. IANS