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Apr 24, 2024 8:46 pm

Juncheng Shang wins nearly 4-hour battle vs. Corentin Moutet at Madrid

Juncheng Shang

Chinese teen Juncheng Shang closed out Wednesday’s action with a marathon match, surviving France’s Corentin Moutet 6-7 (9), 6-2, 7-6 (10) at the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain.

The first-round match took 3 hours, 59 minutes and 11 seconds.

“It’s gotta be the longest match I have ever played in my life,” Shang said. “On clay, it was very tough physically against an amazing player like Corentin. The level was insane. Even had I lost I would not have had regrets. It was almost the perfect match for me.”

He rose to a career-best No. 103 in the ATP Rankings with the win and advances to the second round to face Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Shang, 19, had the advantage in winners, 43-25, over Moutet, as well as first serve points won at 70 percent (68 of 97) to 63 percent (98 of 154) for his opponent.

Neither was efficient at converting break points, with Shang at 4 of 17 (24 percent) and Moutet 2 of 13 (15 percent).

Shang, who goes by the nickname “Jerry,” wasn’t exactly thrilled about a first-round match with Moutet.

“I was talking to my dad and I said, ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’ I told my team that the only player I didn’t want to play was Corentin,” Shang said. “I don’t want to see him in the first round of the draw. When I got him, I just told myself: ‘Win or lose I would have fun and enjoy every point.’ ”

In a match this long, there was plenty of drama and some odd points. Moutet, who needed nine set points to close out the first set, later had a point replayed when he was accidentally sprayed with water being applied to another court.

Other three-set winners Wednesday were Croatia’s Borna Coric, Japan’s Taro Daniel, Great Britain’s Jack Draper, Slovak Republic qualifier Lukas Klein, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko and France’s Luca Van Assche.

Straight-set winners were Germany’s Daniel Altmaier, Argentina’s Mariano Navone and qualifier Facundo Bagnis, Italy’s Luciano Darderi, Hungary’s Fabian Marozsan, Spain’s Jaume Munar, Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild and the Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp.

Thursday’s matches include Spain’s Rafael Nadal against wild card Darwin Blanch of the United States; Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut versus Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan; Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer; and Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas against Russia’s Pavel Kotov.

Nadal, a record five-time champion of this event, is back for the first time since 2022. Blanch, 16, is appearing in his second tour-level match.

–Field Level Media

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