Adelaide International: Hijikata tests world No.18 Shapovalov
A gallant Rinky Hijikata came close to scoring one of the biggest wins of his career today at the Adelaide International.
Rinky Hijikata has once again demonstrated he can push the world’s best players, extending world No.18 Denis Shapovalov to three sets at the Adelaide International today.
The 23-year-old Canadian eventually prevailed 2-6 6-4 6-3 against the Aussie qualifier in their first-round showdown at The Drive.
Hijikata has proven fearless against top-ranked players, memorably taking a set from world No.2 Rafael Nadal in his Grand Slam main-draw debut at last year’s US Open.
Today the 21-year-old from Sydney, who has been awarded an Australian Open 2023 main-draw wildcard, was facing a top 20-ranked player for only the third time in his young career.
There were no nerves for world No.164 Hijikata, who made a confident start and conceded only four points on serve in a dominant opening set.
However, the experienced Shapovalov, who has been ranked as high as world No.10 and helped Canada win a first Davis Cup title last season, fought back to claim a hard-fought victory in two hours.
Storm Hunter, partnering world No.1 Katerina Siniakova in the women’s doubles competition, was the sole Australian winner today.
The top seeds posted a 6-2 6-2 win against Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova.
The Adelaide International, a combined ATP 250 and WTA 500 event, is part of a two-week Adelaide Festival of Tennis. The festival includes back-to-back tournaments and concludes on 14 January.
AUSSIES IN ACTION – Adelaide
Men’s singles, first round
 Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d [Q] Rinky Hijikata (AUS) 2-6 6-4 6-3
Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Claire Liu (USA) d [WC] Priscilla Hon (AUS) 4-6 6-3 6-3
Men’s doubles, first round
Mackenzie McDonald (USA)/Marcelo Melo (BRA) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 ret.
Nicolas Barrientos (COL)/Ariel Behar (URU) d [WC] John Millman (AUS)/Edward Winter (AUS) 6-1 4-6 [12-10]
Jannik Sinner (ITA)/Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) d [WC] James Duckworth (AUS)/Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-4 6-3
Women’s doubles, second round
 Storm Hunter (AUS)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE) d Veronika Kudermetova/Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 6-2
Cristina Bucsa (ESP)/Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) d  Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) 3-6 6-4 [10-8]
Men’s singles, second round
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v  Jannik Sinner (ITA)
[Q] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Marcos Giron (USA)
Men’s doubles, second round
 Matt Ebden (AUS)/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi(PAK) v Jannik Sinner (ITA)/Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
 Storm Hunter (AUS)/Katerina Siniakova (CZE) v TBC
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