Novak Djokovic began his title defense at the Rolex Shanghai Masters by pushing his set winning streak in Asia to 22 on Wednesday 9th October. The World No. 1 and top seed rolled past #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.
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.
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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.
The Serbian will face 16th seed John Isner for a place in the quarter-finals. Isner hit 19 aces and never faced a breakpoint during a 7-5, 6-3 dismissal of Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille.
Djokovic is looking to make up ground in the battle for year-end No. 1 against Spain’s Rafael Nadal in Shanghai. The Serbian added 90 points with the second-round win to push his ATP Race To London tally to 7,855. But he still trails Nadal (9,225 points), who is recovering from a left-hand injury, by 1,370 points.