Canadians Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov advance to third round in Cincinnati

Canadians Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov advance to third round in Cincinnati
Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime walks off the court after losing to Casper Ruud of Norway for his win in quarterfinal play at the National Bank Open tennis tournament, Friday, August 12, 2022 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov moved on to the third round of the Western & Southern Open Masters-level tennis tournament with wins Wednesday.

Auger-Aliassime, the seventh seed, advanced comfortably with 6-3, 6-2 win over Australia’s Alex de Minaur.

Shapovalov joined his friend and compatriot later with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over American Tommy Paul. Next up for Shapovalov will be world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev of Russia.

Auger-Aliassime overcame 17 unforced errors and won 71 per cent of service points and 48 per cent of return points in a match that took one hour 18 minutes to complete.

It was the first meeting on the ATP Tour between Auger-Aliassime and world No. 20 de Minaur. They split a pair of matches at the Challenger level, with Auger-Aliassime winning in the quarterfinal of a 2017 tournament in Drummondville, Que., and de Minaur coming out on top the next year in the quarterfinals at Braga, Portugal.

Auger-Aliassime had nine aces in Wednesday’s match to three for de Minaur, and converted four of his six break points while saving break point three of four times.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked ninth in the world, rebounded after a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Casper Ruud last week in the quarterfinals of the National Bank Open in Montreal.

“I never thought it would be ending like this today,” he said after that match.

Auger-Aliassime will next face 10th seed Janik Sinner of Italy, who was up 7-5, 3-1 on Miomir Kecmanovic when the Serb retired.

Auger-Aliassime defeated Sinner in their only other meeting, in the round of 16 of the clay-court Madrid Masters earlier this year.

Shapovalov had 10 double faults and 30 unforced errors in his match. But he got timely breaks when he needed them, including a crucial break in Game 2 of the third set.

It was Shapovalov’s first win over Paul. The American had won two previous matches against, including the final of a 2021 tournament in Stockholm.

Shapovalov is 2-2 in four previous matches against Medvedev, with the Russian claiming the most recent two matches. They have not faced each other since Medvedev’s 6-4, 6-0 at the Laver Cup in September, 2021.


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