Shapovalov, Andreescu advance to third round of BNP Paribas Open

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, serves to Lloyd Harris, of South Africa, during the third round of the US Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in New York (John Minchello/AP).

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Canadian Bianca Andreescu's title defence at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., began with a hard-fought second-round match.

Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., needed three sets and nearly three hours to defeat American Alison Riske 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-2 Saturday night.

The Canadian is the tournament's reigning champion, having won the event the last time it was held in 2019. The 2020 iteration was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 21-year-old won the first set Saturday in a tiebreaker and looked poised to win the second set rather easily. She led 4-1 but allowed Riske back in the match by failing to convert on break points and two match points.

A frustrated Andreescu was broken twice in the second set.

But the No. 16 seed came out firing in the third. She broke Riske twice to take a 5-1 lead and a third time to win 6-2.

The match lasted two hours 48 minutes.

Andreescu improved to 8-0 lifetime at Indian Wells after winning seven matches to claim the 2019 tournament.

She will face Anett Kontaveit of Estonia in the third round.

Earlier Saturday, a matchup between two Canadians came to a premature end.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., advanced to the third round after Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil retired with an injury early in the first set.

Pospisil was trailing 2-0 when he appeared to hurt his lower back on a serve and took a medical time out.

He returned to the court after spending several minutes with a trainer but struggled with his serve and had seven double faults before bowing out with Shapovalov up 3-0.

Shapovalov, the No. 9 seed, jumped out to an early lead, breaking Pospisil in the very first game.

The 22-year-old will face No. 19 seed Aslan Karatsev of Russia in the round of 32.

Pospisil, 31, edged American J.J. Wolf 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in a first-round match Thursday, but lost his cool in the second set and repeatedly smashed his racked on the court.

Montreal's Leylah Fernandez, seeded 23rd in the tournament, is set to take on No. 9 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in the round of 32.

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