Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko sent out second seeded Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2, while Canada’s Denis Shapovalov suffered a heart-breaking 7/5, 6/7, 6/3, 3/6, 8/6 loss to Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena in a marathon of four hours and 18 minutes at the on-going French Open Tennis Championship.
When Shapovalov won the fourth set on a single break of serve, the ninth seed seemed headed for a comeback victory. In the fifth set decider, the southpaw ran his opponent from side to side, as both players held serve for the first four games.
In the fifth game, Shapovalov lost a break opportunity at 15-40 and a service return error got the game to deuce. The Canadian screamed “why?” that echoed through the empty arena. Baena cancelled two more break threats before conceding the eighth-minute game and Shapovalov held to lead 4-2. Baena reduced the tally but Shapovalov served powerfully to lead 5-3. The Spaniard won the ninth game at love.
Serving for the match, Shapovalov was up 30-0 but got leveled after an unsuccessful challenge that could have given him match point. Instead, he lost the next two points to get leveled five games apiece.
Shapovalov broke serve to lead 6-5. Serving for the match a second time, Denis dropped the all-important first point and eventually lost the twelfth game.
As there is no tie break in the final set, Baena proceeded to take the lead 7-6. Serving to stay in the set, Shapovalov committed a double fault to 15-all and netted an approach volley to face match point. Again, he followed a good serve but hit the first volley over the baseline.
Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, saved four of nine break threats while converting two of the three chances to break her opponent’s serve. That was the determining factor in the major upset. Ostapenko tallied a total of 67 points to 46 by her higher ranked opponent.
Also, the 11th-seeded Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain, who was champion in 2016, defeated Kristyna Pliskova the twin sister of Karolina, 6/3, 6/2 on Suzanne Lenglen Court.