Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov, Pospisil advance to Marseille quarters

Denis-Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov of Canada takes the first set against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their ATP Cup tennis match in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (Steve Christo/AP)

MARSEILLE, France — Three Canadians will play in the quarterfinals of the Open 13 Provence tennis tournament.

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime ensured a Canadian trio would compete in the final eight by outlasting France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-0, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (9) in a second-round match on Thursday.

The seventh-seeded Auger-Aliassime saved three match points against Herbert, one day after fighting off match point twice against Italy’s Stefano Travaglia.

Earlier Thursday, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., ended a four-match losing streak with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the second round. The fourth-seeded Shapovalov had a first-round bye at the ATP Tour 250 indoor hardcourt event.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil earned a quarterfinal berth Wednesday.

It’s the first time three Canadians have reached the quarterfinals in an ATP Tour tournament since a 1990 event in Rio de Janeiro, when Martin Laurendeau (quarterfinals), Martin Wostenholme (semifinals) and Andrew Sznajder (finalist) made it into the final eight.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 18th in the world, needed two hours 40 minutes to eliminate the 79th-ranked Herbert.

The Canadian was excellent on serve, never facing a break point. He had 16 aces, two double faults and won 85 per cent of points when he got his first serve in.

Auger-Aliassime will face Egor Gerasimov in the quarterfinals Friday after the Belarusian upset No. 3 seed David Goffin of Belgium 6-4, 7-6 (5).

The fourth-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., received a first-round bye before dispatching the 39th-ranked Cilic in just under two hours.

Shapovalov, ranked 15th, had 17 aces and just two double faults versus Cilic. The Canadian saved six of seven break points he faced.

Shapovalov will meet world No. 55 Alexander Bublik of Kakakhstan in the quarterfinals.

Pospisil will battle No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in another quarterfinal.

The final quarterfinal pits No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia against Gilles Simon of France.

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