The 2016 champion edged a titanic tussle with Cameron Norrie in his opening round match, but it took him just 75 minutes to dispose of the Canadian in straight sets.

It was an eagerly-anticipated first ever match-up between two regular sparring partners – they spent the 2016 off-season together training in Tenerife – and at times, it was a feast for the eyes.

Both competitors possess visually appealing one-handed backhands, however the tight contest anticipated never materialised. It was a commanding performance from Thiem – and it was his most impressive display on a hard-court for some time.

The Austrian managed to break four times in the match and he enjoyed a shutout on serve. The 24-year-old did not encounter a single break-point behind his delivery, and in truth, he should have won by a greater margin.

Shapovalov, who impressed in his come-from-behind victory over Kei Nishikori on Tuesday, made a stuttering start and dropped serve in the first game. A loose forehand proved costly, and matters did not get much better for the teenager as the evening progressed.

The Canadian attempted to trade blows with the Austrian powerhouse from the baseline, but it did not prove to be a winning strategy. Thiem won four quick-fire games in succession from 3-2 down in the second set to complete the job and avoid a potential banana skin.

If Thiem can maintain his current form, he will have a good opportunity to end his two-year wait for a second hard-court title this weekend.