The Canadian missed much of last year due to injuries but found himself back on the tennis court this year. He first played in Auckland and lost easily to Sebastian Ofner in two sets
He then played at the Australian Open and lost as well, which was unfortunate because he needed wins. Things finally worked out for him at the ATP 250 event in Montpellier when he faced native player Hugo Gaston, who admittedly is a tricky player to play, but only when he has his day.
That wasn't the case this time around because Shapovalov outplayed him for most of the match. The opening set was 6-1 for the Canadian, who served extremely well, hitting six aces and dropping only a handful of points on the serve.
On return, Shapovalov proved quite aggressive, attacking both the first and second serve and converting three out of his four break points. The second set was a bit more complicated in the sense that the set lasted longer because Gaston competed a bit better.
He didn't serve all that well in the second set either, but he handled the break points much better as he was broken only once, though Shapovalov had multiple chances (6).
Shapovalov struggled on his own serve a bit more, hitting it less than 50% of the time, but he was still playing really well. He did face break points this time around but managed to save all of them (3).
Ultimately, it was a really good match for Shapovalov, who was able to keep the match in two sets, winning 6-1, 6-3. He had 11 aces and dropped only two points behind his first serve.
That's about as good as it gets when it comes to indoor tennis, and he'll want to follow up on the win in the second round against the second-seeded Alexander Bublik.