8 Jan 2019

Shapovalov first big name to exit at men's ASB Classic

6:00 am on 8 January 2019

Canadian seventh seed Denis Shapovalov has been dumped out of the Auckland tennis classic on the first night of the men's tournament.

Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov Photo: Supplied

Shapovalov was beaten by Portugal's Joao Sousa in three sets, 4-6 6-4 6-4.

Sousa will face Great Britain's expat New Zealander Cameron Norrie in the next round after he beat Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-2 and they will be joined by Germany's Jan- Lennard Struff, who was leading Laslo Djere 7-7 (7-5) 2-0 when the Serbian retired.

2017 ASB Classic finalist Joao Sousa.

2017 ASB Classic finalist Joao Sousa. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber eased his way into the second round with victory over Bradley Klahn.

The 2008 winner, who has made it to the quarter-finals and beyond on eight occasions, took a little under 90 minutes to seal a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) win over the American qualifier.

Tennys Sandgren and Matteo Berrettini also made it through with 6-3 6-4 victories over Maximilian Marterer and Mackenzie McDonald respectively, while 21-year-old Taylor Fritz needed three sets to see off Marius Copil 4-6 6-3 6-4 and land a date.