(Rome) Canada scored a hat trick at the Italian Tennis Open on Tuesday as Quebec’s Félix Auger-Aliassime and Ontario’s Bianca Andreescu and Denis Shapovalov all won their matches on Tuesday under different circumstances .

Auger-Aliassime had to come from behind and needed about three hours to knock out Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in a second-round duel.

Earlier in the day, Andreescu had qualified for the second round of the tournament following the abandonment of Briton Emma Raducanu.

Between those two games, Shapovalov earned his ticket to the third round with a straight-set, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili.

After conceding the opening set following a break of service in the ninth game, Auger-Aliassime forced the presentation of a deciding set by scoring successive mini-breaks which allowed him to give himself a 5- 2 in the tiebreaker.

The Montreal tennis player then took control of the third set with breaks in the fifth and seventh games that gave him a 5-2 lead.

Meanwhile, Andreescu had won the first set 6-2 and was leading 2-1 in the second set when 10th-seeded Raducanu retired with a back injury.

Raducanu’s troubles surfaced quickly. Andreescu scored her first break in the third game of the match, and she eventually broke three in 11 chances, without facing a single break point. The Canadian also won 84% of the points on her serve.

This duel between Andreescu and Raducanu featured two former US Open women’s singles champions.

Andreescu won this tournament in 2019 against Serena Williams and Raducanu got his hands on the commemorative trophy in 2021, after his victory against Quebecer Leylah Fernandez in the grand final.

As for Shapovalov, he had a less trying day than his first outing of the tournament against local favorite Lorenzo Sonego.

During this match, which had lasted more than three hours, the Canadian was particularly impatient because the crowd had booed him after he had protested a decision of a linesman.

This time around, Shapovalov only needed an hour and 40 minutes to defeat Basilashvili.

Despite committing four double faults, Shapovalov was efficient on serve, picking up seven aces and giving up only one break chance, which he was able to save. He hit 70% of his first serves and won 85% of the points after lodging his first ball in play.

Shapovalov got a service break in the first set and built a 5-1 lead in the second set tiebreaker. Basilashvili eventually reduced the Canadian’s lead to 6-5, but Shapovalov broke his opponent’s serve on the next point to end the duel.

https://www.lapresse.ca/sports/tennis/2022-05-10/masters-1000-de-rome/auger-aliassime-andreescu-et-shapovalov-triomphent.php

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