12:36 AM GMT March 26, 2019
Two years ago, Russian Andrey Rublev got the better of Denis Shapovalov as the two competed at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
But on Monday, the 19-year-old Canadian returned the favour. Shapovalov beat Rublev 6-3, 7-6(5) in a battle of hard-hitting baseliners to make back-to-back fourth-round appearances at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
The #NextGenATP Canadian converted only two of his 12 break points against Rublev, but Shapovalov was the steadier of the two during what, at times, seemed more like a boxing match as the two slugged away from the back of the court.
Rublev threw every part of him into his forehands and rarely approached the net, sometimes even backing up after reaching the service line.
Shapovalov, however, mixed in variety and attacked the net against the Russian, who qualified and was trying to reach his first fourth round at an ATP Masters 1000 event.
The Canadian will next meet Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 10 in the ATP Rankings, in another potential matchup that fans could be seeing for the next decade. Tsitsipas broke twice and didn't face a break point during his 6-4, 6-4 win against Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Tsitsipas and Shapovalov split their two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings last year, with Shapovalov winning at the Australian Open but Tsitsipas evening the rivalry at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.