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Four Canadians move into third round at Roland-Garros


PARIS — Four Canadians advanced into the third round of the French Open with wins on Thursday.

Bianca Andreescu made it a clean sweep on the day for Canadians when she battled back from a rough first set to beat 23rd seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

She joined fellow Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Leylah Fernandez, who won their second-round matches at the clay-court tennis Grand Slam earlier in the day.

Montreal's Auger-Aliassime, the men's No. 21 seed, defeated German qualifier Henri Squire 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., rallied past No. 25 seed Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 later Thursday to give Canada two men in the third round at Roland-Garros for the first time in the Open era, which began in 1968.

Tiafoe and Shapovalov — who are friends — had a frosty handshake when they met at the net after the match. Shapovalov wasn't thrilled when Tiafoe sent a tennis ball off the side of his head with one on-the-run shot.

“I wasn’t happy with it. But it's tennis, so you can do what you want,” Shapovalov said. “Look, I'm sure we'll be fine in a couple days. Obviously, (in the) heat of the moment, it's not fun. But we’ll get through it.”

Fernandez, seeded 31st in the women's draw, downed China's Xiyu Wang 6-3, 6-4, completing a match that was suspended Wednesday due to rain with Fernandez up 5-3.

Andreescu struggled early in her match, her second after missing almost 10 months with a back injury. She was accurate on eight of her 17 first serves in the set and won just four first-serve points while being broken twice.

She responded in the second set, showing some finesse by converting six net points and clinching the set with a break in the final game.

She scored another key break to go up 5-3 in the third set, then overcame three break points before winning match point when Kalinskaya ended an 18-shot rally with an unforced error on her backhand.

Andreescu next faces 12th-seeded Italian Jasmine Paolini.

Auger-Aliassime, the first to wrap up a win on Thursday, fired 12 aces in the match, including one to set up match point.

He took a commanding 4-1 lead in the fourth set with a break. After Squire broke in the following game, Auger-Aliassime restored his lead with his seventh break of the match then served out for the victory.

Auger-Aliassime will next face 15th seed Ben Shelton of the United States.

Shapovalov used an overpowering serve — he had 21 aces to Tiafoe's one — and picked up a key break to go up 5-4 in the fourth set.

The Canadian will next face eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Hurkacz is 4-1 in his career against Shapovalov, with all five matches contested on hard court.

Both Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov had to wait out delays as rain in Paris continued to affect play on the outdoor courts at Roland-Garros.

Fernandez defended five of the six break points she faced while breaking Wang three times on five chances.

The Canadian scored the only break of the second set to go up 4-3, then overcame double break point and break point to take the match.

Fernandez will next face eighth seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Jabeur has won all three of her previous matches against Fernandez, most recently at this year's Madrid Open.

-- With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2024.