The Gonet Geneva Open has not been a happy hunting ground lately for world No. 15 Ben Shelton, who went out to an Italian player in his opening match for the second year running. Flavio Cobolli did what Marco Cecchinato had done to the American in 2023, wresting the initiative as his opponent lost his way.

Shelton was seemingly in control at a set and 4-2 up only for the man from Florence to turn the tables and triumph in three sets. A Roland-Garros junior doubles champion in 2020 with Dominic Stricker, Cobolli will now take on Alexander Shevchenko (ATP 61) in the quarter-finals on Thursday, the Kazakh player having earned a second-round walkover when his opponent, Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland, withdrew because of illness.

A runner-up in Geneva in 2021 to Casper Ruud, Denis Shapovalov (ATP 123) reacquainted himself with victory at the Parc des Eaux-Vives. The recipient of a wild card, the Canadian left-hander won 12 of the last 13 games against Argentina’s Federico Coria (ATP 69) to come back from 4-1 down in the opening set and secure a comfortable 7-5 6-0 win.

Situated in the same quarter of the draw as Novak Djokovic, could the former world No. 10 kick on and cause an upset at the Gonet Geneva Open? We should go some way to finding an answer to that question on Wednesday, when Shapovalov takes on Tallon Griekspoor (ATP 27) in the round of 16. The Dutchman delivered the goods against the USA’s Chris Eubanks (ATP 43) on Tuesday, winning 6-4 1-6 6-3, and is sure to pose a stern test for the Canadian.

Wednesday’s headline match is the meeting between Novak Djokovic and Yannick Hanfmann (ATP 85). The German, who was in no mood to give Andy Murray a way back into their first-round tie, is a tough proposition on clay, as the world No. 1 knows only too well and acknowledged in his press conference today. He has only one thing on his mind in Geneva, though, and that is winning.