The 23-year-old American was the top seed in qualifying in Toronto, but fell to Emil Ruusuvuori in straight sets. After receiving a lucky loser spot, the American has yet to drop a set with victories over Yoshihito Nishioka and World No. 10 Shapovalov en route to the third round.
Tiafoe came into the matchup trailing Shapovalov 1-4 in their ATP Head2Head, with Shapovalov winning their previous four encounters. But the American turned the tables on Stadium court, dominating throughout two sets with 14 winners to advance in 76 minutes.
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Tiafoe did not face a break point against Shapovalov, the last Canadian standing of the four who started in the Toronto main draw. The 22-year-old Canadian struggled on serve in the windy conditions in the opening set, frequently catching his ball toss and allowing Tiafoe to take control of the points.
The No. 52 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings kept his opponent contained, not allowing him to hit a single winner in the first set. Tiafoe reeled off the last five games as he broke twice to take it 6-1.
He faced a bigger challenge in the second set as Shapovalov harnessed his home crowd’s support and willed himself to a higher level. He found all of his 13 winners in the second set, using his lefty strikes to pull Tiafoe out of position. But he was unable to create any break opportunities in either set, with Tiafoe winning 88 per cent (23/26) of points behind his first serve.