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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, March 22, 2018

 
Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov squandered a 5-1 third-set lead, blew five match points and saved a match point in the tiebreaker scraping out 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) victory over Viktor Troicki.

Photo credit: Dan Huerlimann/Beelde Images

Denis Shapovalov turned despair to deliverance winning a wild Miami Open thriller.

In a memorable Miami debut, Shapovalov squandered a 5-1 third-set lead, blew five match points and saved a match point at 5-6 in the tiebreaker scraping through a pressure-packed 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6) victory over Viktor Troicki.

Watch: Miami Open Live Blog

In the end, Troicki double-faulted on Shapovalov's sixth match point bringing an anti-climactic conclusion to a tense test. 




The 18-year-old Canadian pumped a clenched fist off his heart and exhaled a hearty sigh of relief salvaging a pulsating match he nearly let slip away.

The 46th-ranked Shapovalov was cruising holding a 5-1 double-break lead in the decider. But holding two match points at 5-1, Shapovalov misfired on his favored forehand and eventually gifted the break back.

Thing got worse when Shapovalov bungled a smash dropping serve again.

Serving at 4-5, Troicki dug out of a triple match point hole on three Shapovalov errors that left the lanky Canadian on the verge of a racquet-smashing catharsis. 




Swinging more freely, Troicki held at 15 to force the final-set tie break.

Shapovalov opened leads of 3-0 and 4-2 in the breaker, but Troicki took advantage of three errors to level at 5-all.

By then, Shapovalov had committed 44 unforced errors against 33 winners. Troicki played a beautiful sharp-angled backhand crosscourt to earn match point at 6-5.

Shapovalov boldly unleashed the serve-and-volley knocking off a volley to save match point.

A Troicki error gave Shapovalov a sixth match point and Troicki's third double fault ended it. 

The two hour, 25-minute victory sends Shapovalov into second-round match with 24th-seeded Damir Dzumhur.

The 30th-ranked Dzumhur shocked Rafael Nadal at the 2016 Miami Open.


 

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