MELBOURNE – The Latest from the Australian Open on Monday (all times local):
Two of the brightest young prospects in tennis ensured the first day of the year’s first major went well past midnight.
No. 11-seeded Denis Shapovalov finally beat Jannik Sinner 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in a marathon lasting almost four hours on Margaret Court Arena. It ended at 12:49 a.m. local time.
It meant the 21-year-old Shapovalov, not accustomed to being the older player on court, avoided a first-round loss at Melbourne Park for the second straight year.
For 19-year-old Sinner, it was an early end to his fifth major and an up-and-down month Down Under.
Since losing to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the French Open, he has collected his first two ATP titles.
Sinner won the Great Ocean Road Open on Sunday, extending his winning streak to 10 matches including his first ATP title at Sofia last November. In doing so, he became the youngest player to win back-to-back titles on the ATP Tour since 1995, when a 19-year-old Nadal won in China and Madrid in 2005.