Gasquet downs erratic Shapovalov in Paris

France’s Richard Gasquet serves the ball to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov during their men’s singles first round tennis match on day one of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters on October 29, 2018. (AFP)

Home favorite Richard Gasquet punished an erratic display from Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov to progress to the second round of the Paris Masters on Monday with a 6-4 7-6(3) victory.

Shapovalov made a brisk start and raced to a 3-0 lead before Gasquet responded with a mix of aggressive backhands and clever drop shots to reel off five consecutive games.

The 19-year-old Canadian struggled to settle into a serving rhythm as he made 18 unforced errors, including five double faults, allowing Gasquet to clinch the opening set in 44 minutes.

Having tightened up his game, Shapovalov roared back in the second set with a string of powerful groundstrokes but Gasquet recovered from 4-1 down to level at 4-4.

Gasquet, ranked 28th in the world, held his serve to force a tiebreak and kept his composure to prevail on the first match point.

Earlier in the day, Russian power-hitter Karen Khachanov began his campaign with a 7-5 6-2 win over last year's runner-up Filip Krajinovic.

Khachanov, who lifted the Kremlin Cup earlier this month, recovered from a 3-5 down and saved a set point to battle past his Serbian opponent in 75 minutes.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53