Thiem now leads Tsitsipas 4-2 in head-to-head meetings.
The three-time Grand Slam champion struggled early but eventually outlasted the Argentine qualifier. I really had trouble to keep it up.
"I think that's been achieved number one, I think that's the priority there".
"I feel also that he is playing better and better, which is going to be great".
"I saw him after the Bautista [Agut] match because I finished my match, he played that five-setter against him and I saw him in the locker room and just had a personal interest".
He has done better in Asia, losing in three sets to Australian Alex de Minaur in the second round of the Zhuhai Championships last month. I saved it very good. "Smart is more important than phenomenal", said Tsitsipas.More news: Amazon debuts its first-ever Kindle Kids Edition
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Murray, who won back-to-back matches for the first time since his return in Beijing last week, will play Italy's Fabio Fognini in round two. The French Open champion traded breaks of serve in the third set before scraping past her Dutch opponent 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7).
"I was disappointed to lose that set, but still I had the feeling that I'm not playing that bad".
The 36th-ranked Shapovalov played the top-ranked Djokovic on two previous occasions, with both matches taking place this year. "I just got a little more aggressive", said Thiem, who ousted Andy Murray in Friday's quarterfinals. "I'll go out there and give it all I have".
Johansson, who is in Shanghai as Belgian David Goffin's coach, added: "The hardest thing for me was that for some matches that you lost, you know that if you'd have played this guy a year ago, I would've killed him".
Fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil upset 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 7-6 (2), 6-2 in another first-round match.
Another hold and it was 5-4, and he saved first one, then two more match-points before the Greek worked another chance after nearly two hours on court. Shapovalov had won 27 of his 29 first-serve points against Tiafoe.