Canadian Auger-Aliassime advances to third round at Australian Open

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada serves to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Simon Baker/AP Photo)

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the third round of the Australian Open after winning another tight match on Thursday.

The No. 9 seed, from Montreal, beat world No. 50 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) in a second-round match that lasted four hours 19 minutes.

Auger-Aliassime needed five sets to get by Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in the first round.

The Canadian will face No. 24 seed Daniel Evans of Great Britain in the third round. Evans is 1-0 lifetime against Auger-Aliassime, winning at an Australian Open tune-up event last year.

The British player also has played far less tennis than Auger-Aliassime this week, winning his opener in straight sets before getting a walkover in the second round.

Auger-Aliassime battled back from a break down in the fourth set to win the match. He went low to hit a great volley to win the match in the fourth tiebreaker.

The Canadian made a whopping 83 unforced errors, but escaped with the win thanks in large part to a dominant serve.

Auger-Aliassime came into the first Grand Slam of the season riding momentum after helping Canada capture the ATP Cup team title earlier this month in Australia.

No. 14 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will face No. 23 seed Reilly Opelka of the United States in a third-round match on Friday.

Meanwhile, the sixth-seeded women’s doubles team of Gabriela Dabrowski of Ottawa and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico beat Camila Osorio of Colombia and Clara Burel of France 6-2, 6-3 in a first-round match.

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