ROME — Denis Shapovalov needed fewer than 90 minutes to reach the second round of the Italian Open, while fellow Canadian Milos Raonic had to wait on Mother Nature before earning his chance to advance on Tuesday.
The No. 12-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat world No. 37 Guido Pella of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event. Later, No. 13-seeded Raonic defeated France’s Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (3), 6-2 following a rain delay.
Shapovalov won 85 per cent of points when he got his first serve in (22 of 26), well above Pella’s 62 per-cent clip (22 of 40).
Shapovalov will face world No. 109 Pedro Martinez, a qualifier from Spain, in the second round.
The 21-year-old Shapovalov is coming off a run to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., was up 3-2 on world No. 38 Mannarino before play was halted due to rain. After a delay just short of an hour, Raonic won the first set via tiebreak before rolling to victory.
The Canadian had 12 aces compared to Mannarino’s one. Raonic will square off against world No. 25 Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in the next round.
No. 16 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal lost his first-round match to Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic on Monday.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic’s first match since being defaulted from the U.S. Open will come against local wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso in the second round.
The 87th-ranked Caruso defeated American qualifier Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) Tuesday in the opening round at the empty Foro Italico, where fans are being kept away because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Caruso saved a match point late in the third set before closing it out after nearly three hours on a steamy 32 C day.
The top-ranked Djokovic, who had