February 26th, 2024

Auger-Aliassime, Raonic win first-round matches at Rotterdam

By The Canadian Press on February 12, 2024.

Milos Raonic of Canada tosses the ball to serve to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States in tennis action at the National Bank Open in Toronto, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. Raonic's powerful serve was in full effect Monday as the Canadian veteran defeated Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 6-4 in first-round play at the ABN Amro Open tennis tournament. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic were first-round singles winners on Monday at the ABN Amro Open tennis tournament.

Auger-Aliassime of Montreal battled for two hours 21 minutes to edge hardy American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8). He advanced to play the winner of a match between second-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia and qualifier Zizou Bergs of Belgium.

Auger-Aliassime held a huge advantage in aces (18-7), but had more double faults (4-3). Cressy had 14 unforced errors, while his opponent finished with 12.

The Canadian won 75 per cent of first-serve points and had more winners (39-33). Auger-Aliassime was the only player to win a game while returning.

Meanwhile, Raonic’s powerful serve was in full effect as the veteran defeated Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., fired 20 aces and won 97 per cent of first-serve points in his first win of the season.

The former world No. 3 set himself up for victory with the only break of the match to take a 5-4 lead in the second set.

He then fired back-to-back aces to set up match point before closing out the win in one hour 42 minutes.

Raonic will play the winner of a match between eighth-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan and Croatian veteran Borna Coric.

BASELINES: Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will play Gael Monfils of France Tuesday morning in a first-round match.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2024.

Share this story:
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments