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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday October 1, 2022

 
Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov edged Jenson Brooksby and will face Yoshihito Nishioka for the title in Seoul.

Photo Source: AP

Denis Shapovalov reached his first final of 2022 on Saturday in Seoul, defeating American Jenson Brooksby 7-5, 6-4.

The No.4 seed will face Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, who edged American Lucky Loser Aleks Kovacevic 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to book his second final in two months (he reached the title match at the Citi Open in August).

Tennis Express

Nishioka defeated Shapovalov in their only previous meeting, 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5, at Shenzhen in 2018, where he also won the title. The 26-year-old was steady against Kovacevics in front of an enthusiastic crowd on Saturday in Seoul, committing 22 winners against five unforced errors, but he could not keep the first-time ATP semifinalist from pushing back in the second set as the 24-year-old New York native mounted a comeback and converted his fourth set point to level up.

But Nishioka had too much energy in the third set as he raced out to a 3-0 lead and held on to lock down his 15th victory of the season.

Nevertheless, it was a big week for Kovacevic, who was making his ATP main draw debut. He will rise from 222 to 166 in Monday’s ATP rankings.

In Saturday’s first semifinal, Shapovalov kept Brooksby on the back foot in their first head-to-head meeting.

The Canadian hit 22 winners to 7 for Brooksby. He faltered while serving for the opening set, serving three double-faults, but quickly hit back and took the final two games to claim the opener.

In the second set Shapovalov continued to control the run of play and did not falter, serving out the victory on his first chance to improve to 25-18 on the season.

Shapovalov has not won a title on tour since 2019 Stockholm; Nishioka’s lone title came in Shenzhen in 2018.

 

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