Canada’s Denis Shapovalov loses to Rodionov in first round of Vienna Open

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov is out of the Vienna Open after suffering a first-round loss to a player with just one previous win at the ATP Tour level.

Austrian wild-card Jurij Rodionov, ranked 153rd in the world, beat the eighth-seeded Shapovalov 6-4, 7-5 on Monday at the ATP 500 hard-court event.

The 21-year-old Rodionov came into the match with a 1-7 record in ATP Tour play.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., has now lost in his first match at the past two tournaments. The 21-year-old is ranked 12th in the world after cracking the top 10 for the first time in his career earlier this year.

Rodionov broke Shapovalov in the final game to win the match.

The Canadian struggled with his serve, committing 10 double faults.

Shapovalov won just 38 per cent of his points on second serve, well below Rodiovov’s 68-per-cent clip in the same category.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil, a qualifier, will meet Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in an all-Canadian first-round match on Wednesday.

Auger-Aliassime, coming off runner-up and semifinal finishes at two tournaments in Germany, has won all three previous meetings against Pospisil.

Andrey Rublev started his quest for a fifth ATP title of the season with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Norbert Gombos at the Erste Bank Open on Monday.

The eighth-ranked Rublev hit 11 aces and never faced a break point in against his Slovakian opponent, who had won their only previous meeting on hard-court four years ago.

After his recent tournament wins in Hamburg and St. Petersburg, Rublev joined Novak Djokovic as the only players with four titles in the shortened 2020 season.

Headlining the event in Austria, Djokovic is set to play Filip Krajinovic in an all-Serbian opening-round match on Tuesday.

Djokovic, who won the event in his last appearance here in 2007, would meet

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Alexander Zverev beats Diego Schwartzman for another Cologne title

COLOGNE, Germany — Alexander Zverev made it back-to-back ATP Tour titles on Sunday when he beat Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 in the final of the Cologne Championship.

Zverev hit nine aces, saved the only break point he faced and converted five of his own to beat the French Open semifinalist. The first set was over in 38 minutes, the second in just 33.

“It’s getting better. I’ll be back to my best form soon,” Zverev said, referring to problems with his hip. “I didn’t know two days ago if I could finish the tournament. I’m happy I didn’t give up.”

It’s Zverev’s 13th title overall, and the third time the U.S. Open finalist has won back-to-back titles after wins in Washington and Montreal in August 2017, and Munich and Madrid the previous May.

The German got the better of Felix Auger-Aliassime to win last week’s Cologne Indoors final for his 12th title. The tournaments were both at the same venue and were added to the tour as late replacements during the coronavirus pandemic.

Only 250 people including players, tournament officials, spectators and journalists were allowed at Sunday’s final due to restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

It’s unclear if there will be another competition in Cologne next year.

“I hope the ATP will establish a tournament here in the long term,” Zverev said.

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Canada’s Auger-Aliassime bounced from Cologne semifinal by Schwartzman

COLOGNEY — Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime lost to Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 7-5, 4-6 in the semifinal of the Cologne Championship on Saturday.

Schwartzman will face top-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany in Sunday’s final.

Zverev advanced by beating Jannik Sinner, Italy, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the other semifinal.

It was the first time the world No. 22 Auger-Aliassime had faced ninth-ranked Schwartzman.

The Canadian had four aces to Schwartzman’s none, but also committed eight double faults to the Argentinian’s two.

The German team of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies topped Marcus Daniell of New Zealand and Philipp Oswald of Austria 6-4, 6-3 in the doubles semifinal.

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