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Sport

Shapovalov spoils Korda grand slam debut to reach U.S. Open second round

Aug 31, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Denis Shapovalov of Canada reaches for a backhand against Sebastian Korda of the United States (not pictured) on day one of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Denis Shapovalov, one of tennis’s young guns tipped as a future Grand Slam winner, took a confident first step towards living up to the hype moving into the second round of the U.S. Open with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over American wildcard Sebastian Korda.

The Canadian 12th seed has advanced to at least the third round in all three U.S. Opens he has played and rarely looked in trouble against the 205th ranked Korda, who was making his Grand Slam main draw debut.

Korda, the son of former world number two and 1998 Australian Open winner Petr Korda, rarely had Shapovalov under pressure. Korda earned only two break chances during the match, converting just one that allowed him to claim the second set.

Other than that there was little for the senior Korda, who also serves as his son’s coach, to applaud as he looked on from a mostly deserted Louis Armstrong Stadium.

With no spectators allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, large sections of seating in the stadium courts have been covered with Black Lives Matter banners.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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