Felix Auger Aliassime sets up a second round match against Alexander Zverev in Monte-Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up a second round match against Alexander Zverev in Monte-Carlo

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Canadian 18-year-old Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime battled past Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 58 minutes to set up a blockbuster second round match against 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime got the first break at love to take a 3-1 lead. Londero, who won his maiden ATP title in his home town Cordoba, broke back on his second opportuty in the ninth game after Auger Aliassime made a double fault, when he was serving at 5-3. Auger Aliassime earned his second break in the 12th game to claim the first set 7-5.

The second set went on serve in the first seven games before Auger Aliassime converted his sixth break point chance in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. The Canadian player did not convert three match and was broken back in the ninth game, but he sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his fourth opportunity.

“It was a tough match. He already won a title thids year. I played against him in South America. He had victory after victory, so I knew it was going to be difficult, and it was. I am happy to win my first match after Miami, because I did not know what to expect after Miami. I felt from the beginning I was having a good feeling. It was not easy, because he was fighting until the end. He raised his level until the end at the end of the match. I just had to keep on working, keep on looking for any chance, and I managed to win. That was very important, said Auger Aliassime.

Auger Aliassime enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2019, in which he reached his first ATP Tour final in Rio de Janeiro and played his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal in Miami. He scored his first top 10 win when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells.

Sonego upsets Khachanov

World number 96 Lorenzo Sonego from Italy stunned 2018 Paris Bercy champion Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes.

Sonego saved three break points to hold his service game at deuce to take a 1-0 lead. Sonego rallied from 0-40 down by winning four consecutive points to break serve at deuce for 3-1. Khachanov converted his second break point chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Sonego fended off two break points to hold his serve for 4-3. Both players went on serve with no break points to set up a a tie-break. Sonego earned three set points at 6-3 and closed out the tie-break on his set chance.

Khachanov saved a break point to hold his serve in the first game of the second set. The second set went on serve in the seventh game when Sonego broke serve at love to take a 4-3 lead. The Italian player consolidated the break with hold at love and served out 6-4 on his first match point in the 10th game. Sonego will face either Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics or Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie.

Pella edges Cilic in three sets

Argentina’s Guido Pella broke serve eight times to edge Marin Cilic for the second time in his career wth a 6-3 5-7 6-1 to reach the third round. Pella had already beaten Cilic in a thrilling five-set match at Wimbledon last year. Pella reached two finals in San Paulo and Corboba this year.

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games en route to drawing level to 3-3. Pella reeled off three consecutive games with two breaks in a row to clinch the first set 6-3. Pella broke serve in the second game of the second set. Cilic broke straight back at 30 in the third game and held his serve after saving two break points to draw level to 2-2. Cilic broke at love and held his service game to take a 5-3 lead. Pella broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5, as Cilic was serving for the set. Cilic broke serve in the 11th game and held serve at love to close out the second set 7-5.

Cilic started the third set with a break at love in the first game. Pella rallied from 0-1 down by breaking three times in a row to clinch the third set 6-3.

Herbert ousts Verdasco

Pierre Hugues Herbert beat 2010 finalist Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-4 scoring his first win in their fur head-to-head matches. The first set went on serve until the 10th game when Herbert converted his only break point. Both players held on their serve in the first seven games. Herbert claimed two of the three breaks in the final three games to clinch the second set 6-4.

 

US Taylor Fritz was leading 6-4 2-0 when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to retire due to injury.

ATP

Updated Entry List For Toronto

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After Washington, the US Open Series will continue with the prestigious Master 1000 event in Canada.

 

Having been played since 1968, the Canadian Master 1000 tournament is one of the most historically significant events on the men’s tennis tour. This year the National Bank Open will take place in Toronto from the 9th to the 15th of August.

The defending champion Rafael Nadal is committed to play the tournament, as well as Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer, while Novak Djokovic has decided to skip it. All the other top-20 players are in the list, excepting Dominic Thiem and David Goffin. Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios have been given a Wild Card for the main draw.

NEWS: The former champion Roger Federer and the home favourite Milos Raonic have withdrawn due to injury. They have been replaced by Sebastian Korda and Jan-Lennard Struff.

NEWS: Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Pablo Carreno-Busta have pulled out from the tournament. Jenson Brooksby has received the final Wild-Card for the main draw.


ATP Master 1000 Toronto (CAN, Hard), entry list:
OUT Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
OUT Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
OUT Federer, Roger (ITA)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
OUT Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
OUT Goffin, David (BEL)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Isner, John (USA)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
OUT Coric, Borna (CRO)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
(SE)
WC Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
WC Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
WC Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
Alternates:
IN Cilic, Marin (CRO)
IN Fritz, Taylor (USA)
IN Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
IN Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
IN Millman, John (AUS)
IN Korda, Sebastian (USA)
IN Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
IN Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
IN Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Paire, Benoit (FRA)

Alt.1 Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Alt.2 Paul, Tommy (USA)
Alt.3 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Alt.4 Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Alt.5 Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)


ATP Master 1000 Toronto, qualifying:
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
OUT Korda, Sebastian (USA)
OUT Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)

Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Musetti, Lorenzo (ITA)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Ivashka, Illya (BLR)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)

OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)

WC Diez, Steven (CAN)
WC Polansky, Peter (CAN)
WC Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
WC Draxl, Liam (CAN)
Alternates:
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
IN Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
IN Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
IN Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)

OUT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
IN Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
OUT Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Wolf, Jeffrey John (USA)
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)

Alt.1 Nakashima, Brandon (JPN)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
Alt.2 Broady, Liam (GBR)
Alt.3 Soeda, Go (JPN)
Alt.4 Bolt, Alex (AUS)
Alt.5 Cressy, Maxime (USA)
Alt.6 Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
Alt.7 Jung, Jason (TPE)
Alt.8 Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
Alt.9 Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
Alt.10 Ymer, Elias (SWE)

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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