An inconsistent European clay-court stretch before the French Open ended in losing fashion for Canada’s Denis Shapovalov on Thursday.
The No. 3 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) to French veteran Benoit Paire in a quarterfinal at the Lyon Open.
Shapovalov, ranked 23rd in the world, converted on just one of five break-point opportunities against Paire. The Canadian also was well behind on first-serve points won, converting on 65 per cent of his opportunities as compared to 80 per cent for world No. 51 Paire.
The 20-year-old Shapovalov is 2-5 on clay courts since advancing to the semifinals at the Miami Open, a hard-court ATP Masters 1000 event.
The French Open, the only Grand Slam played on clay, starts Sunday.
Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, the No. 4 seed, was scheduled to face American Steve Johnson in a Lyon Open quarterfinal later on Thursday.