May 25th, 2024

Canada’s Auger-Aliassime, Fernandez both advance at Madrid Open

By The Canadian Press on April 25, 2024.

Felix Auger-Aliassime reacts during a match against Adam Walton, of Australia at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Auger-Aliassime rallied to defeat Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the first round of the Madrid Open on Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rebecca Blackwell

MADRID – Leylah Fernandez advanced to the women’s third round at the Madrid Open tennis tournament Thursday, while fellow Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime won his opening-round match in the men’s competition.

Fernandez, who had a bye in the first round as the 32nd seed, defeated Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 7-5, 6-3 in 91 minutes.

The 21-year-old from Laval, Que., overcame eight double faults and broke Potapova five times on eight chances, while saving six on the nine break points she faced, to improve to 2-0 against the Russian.

Fernandez will next face eighth seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Jabeur is 2-0 against Fernandez, though the two have not squared off since 2021.

Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime rallied to defeat Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 35th in the world, fired 11 aces and won 81 per cent of his first serves in a match that lasted two hours and 19 minutes on the clay surface.

The 23-year-old Canadian improved his career record to 3-2 over the 79th-ranked Nishioka.

Auger-Aliassime will face 19th-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France in the second round.

Mannarino won their only previous encounter in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters in 2023.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024.

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