Canada’s Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov advance in men’s doubles at Indian Wells

Canada's Denis Shapovalov and teammate Felix Auger-Aliassime, right, celebrate after winning. (Mark Baker/AP Photo)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov defeated American Ben Shelton and Denmark’s Holger Rune 6-1, 6-3 in men’s doubles opening-round play on Thursday at the Indian Wells Masters tournament.

Although committing five double faults to one ace, the Canadians won 88 per cent of first-serve points and converted on 4-of-10 break point chances.

They also saved all five of their opponents’ break point opportunities.

After allowing Rune and Shelton to tie the opening set at 1-1, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov broke their opponents in the fourth and sixth games as they won the next five to take the set.

In the second, the Danish and American duo found some momentum taking a 3-2 lead. However, the Canadians swiftly answered back.

Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov broke in the seventh and ninth games, while winning four straight to seal the victory.

On the women’s side, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and American Taylor Townsend advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-Ching of Chinese Taipei.

Fernandez and Townsend hit a combined four aces to four double faults and won 78.6 per cent of first-serve points.

They also broke on 2-of-9 opportunities compared to their opponents, who went 1-of-6.

In women’s singles action, Canada’s Rebecca Marino fell 6-2, 6-2 to Czechia’s Marketa Vondrousova in opening-round play.

The Vancouver native hit two aces but had six double faults, while only winning 60.6 per cent of first-serve points.

In addition, Marino did not have a single break point opportunity in the one-hour, 10-minute match.

Vondrousova, meanwhile, fired four aces to four double faults and won 86.2 per cent of first-serve points. She also converted on four of her eight break point chances.

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