Shapovalov’s struggles continue in the first round of qualifying for the Marseille tournament

Denis Shapovalov’s struggles to start the 2024 tennis season continued on Tuesday with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 loss to French qualifier Hugo Gaston at the 13th Open of Provence.

The encounter was a rematch of the opening round of last week’s tournament in Montpellier, France, where Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., defeated Gaston for his only win of the year so far.

But despite hitting 17 aces, Shapovalov struggled in Tuesday’s match. He faced break point 14 times, made 10 saves and committed eight double faults.

After dominating the second set, Shapovalov broke his fourth serve of the match to take a 3-2 lead in the third set. But Gaston won the next four matches to secure the win.

Gaston will face another Frenchman, Ugo Humbert, seeded fourth, in the second round.

Montreal’s seventh seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was eliminated in the semifinals in Montpellier, will face his French opponent, Quentin Hales, in the first round on Wednesday.

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