Familiar foe Tsitsipas could await Canada's Auger-Aliassime at French Open
PARIS — Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime withdrew from the quarterfinals of the Lyon Open on Thursday, casting some doubt on his participation in the upcoming French Open.
He withdrew from his match against up-and-coming French teen Arthur Fils with a shoulder injury shortly after the French Open draw was announced.
Main draw action at the second Grand Slam of the year begins Sunday.
The move could be precautionary for Auger-Aliassime. He's seeded 10th at Roland Garros and was drawn into a bracket at the clay-court major that could include a fourth-round matchup against No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.
The two young stars have met eight times on the ATP Tour, with Tsitispas holding a 5-3 edge.
Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, won the last meeting in the final of last year's Rotterdam Open for his first of four ATP titles in 2022. That ended a run of five straight victories for Tsitsipas over Auger-Aliassime.
The two have met only once of clay, with Tsitsipas taking the quarterfinal of a 2021 event in Barcelona.
If Auger-Aliassime can play, he will begin his French Open against Italy's Fabio Fognini, a former world No. 9. Auger-Aliassime won the only previous meeting between the two at a clay-court tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
The Canadian made his deepest run at Roland-Garros last year when he reached the fourth round before losing to eventual winner and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller.
Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will also represent Canada in men's singles play, while Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., and Vancouver's Rebecca Marino are all set to compete in women's singles.
Fernandez, Marino and Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski have been entered into the women's doubles draw with their respective partners.
Shapovalov, the 26th seed, will be competing in the same quarter as Auger-Aliassime and opens against American Brandon Nakashima. He would have to get past top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in order to advance to a potential quarterfinal against Auger-Aliassime.
Andreescu faces an early challenge with two-time Grand Slam champion and French Open semifinalist Victoria Azarenka on tap in the first round.
Fernandez, will take on Magda Linette of Poland, the No. 21 seed, in her opener. Fernandez beat Linette in her French Open debut in 2020.
Marino, who reached the third round of the French Open back in 2011, opens against Russia's Diana Shnaider.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 25, 2023.