Felix Auger-Aliassime Cruises Into 3rd Round Of Australian Open | CBC Sports


Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a four-set victory on Thursday in Melbourne. The Montreal native topped Hugo Grenier of France 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Top-ranked women’s player Iga Swiatek escapes with a narrow winThe Associated Press

· Posted: Jan 18, 2024 7:20 AM EST | Last Updated: 3 minutes ago

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime is shown playing a forehand during his match on Monday at the 2024 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a four-set victory on Thursday in Melbourne.

The Montreal native topped Hugo Grenier of France 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Auger-Aliassime, the No. 27 seed at the Australian Open, will next face the winner of a match between Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori and Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz dropped a set for the first time in the tournament before recovering to beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (3) in Rod Laver Arena.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime knocks off Grenier in Melbourne:

Auger-Aliassime advances to 3rd round at Australian Open with convincing winMontreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime defeated Hugo Grenier of France 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 advancing to the 3rd round of the Australian Open.

With a strong breeze to contend with, Alcaraz was tested by Lorenzo Sonego before coming through in four sets.

“I think both of us played a high level,” Alcaraz said. “The match was a little tricky with the wind and sun, so it was tough to play our best. But even if I lost a set, we played a good match.”

Two of the early men’s matches went the distance before being decided in 10-point tiebreakers, with Olympic champion Alexander Zverev holding off Lukas Klein 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7) in 4 1/2 hours and No. 11 Casper Ruud edging Max Purcell 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7).

“He played incredible. He was hitting every single ball as hard as he could from both sides,” Zverev said of Klein, a No. 163-ranked qualifier from Slovakia. “I didn’t really know what to do most of the times. To be honest, he probably deserved to win the match more than me today.”

Cameron Norrie, the No. 19 seed, also went five sets, coming from two sets down to beat Italian qualifier Giulio Zepperi 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 while Alex Michelsen defeated No. 32 Jiri Lehecka 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Rybakina upset in record tiebreakerIn women’s action, Anna Blinkova needed 10 match points before finally finishing off an upset over 2023 finalist Elena Rybakina in a record, half-hour tiebreaker to reach the third round.

Blinkova was a break up in all three sets but third-ranked Rybakina rallied each time. The 2022 Wimbledon champion had six match points of her own before eventually running out of chances against her Russian opponent in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (20) defeat.

In terms of points — 42 — it was the longest tiebreaker ever in a women’s Grand Slam event.

“It was super tough. I had so many match points,” the No. 57-ranked Blinkova said. “And I tried to be aggressive but my hand was shaking. And my legs, too!

“I tried to be calm, as much as I could. Super happy in the end.”

Swiatek survives early scareTop-ranked Iga Swiatek rallied from 4-1 down in the third set to escape with a narrow 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins to advance to the third round.

In a momentum-swinging opening match, Swiatek was on top after recovering an early break and leading by a set and a break before the American player rallied to take the second set and race to a 4-1 lead with two service breaks in the third.

Collins had three consecutive points to lead 5-2 but Swiatek absorbed the sustained pressure from her opponent’s powerful groundstrokes until she reversed the momentum on a match-winning five-game roll.

“Oh my God. I don’t even know,” Swiatek said of how she managed to come back. “Honestly, I was on the airport already. But I wanted to fight to the end.

“I’m really proud of myself, because it wasn’t easy.”

Swiatek had two match points at 15-40 in the last game but again Collins rallied, saving those and getting a game point with a trademark forehand winner deep to Swiatek’s backhand side.

But a forehand long and a backhand wide from Collins gave Swiatek a third match point and she made no mistake this time, flicking a backhand winner down the line to complete victory after 3 hours and 14 minutes.

Collins announced soon after that 2024 would be her last season on tour.

In one of the tournament’s toughest opening brackets, both players beat past Australian Open champions in the first round; Swiatek beat 2020 champion Sofia Kenin and Collins overcame 2016 winner Angelique Kerber.

While Swiatek was doing her on-court TV interview. Collins was already en route to a news conference on site at Melbourne Park, in a much faster exit than usual.

“Yeah, I lost 6-4 in the third to one of the best players in the world,” Collins said. “And she played some great tennis. (I) left it all on the court.”

A heavy rain shower at 3-3 in the opening set forced organizers to close the roof on Rod Laver, creating a 25-minute delay.

The four-time major winner next faces No. 50-ranked Linda Noskova, who beat U.S. qualifier McCartney Kessler 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

Fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula’s run of three consecutive quarterfinals in Australia was ended in a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Clara Burel. It was Pegula’s earliest Grand Slam exit since she lost in the second round at Wimbledon in 2021.

Sloane Stephens, the U.S. Open winner in 2017, took out No. 14 seed Daria Kasatkina 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. She advanced along with No. 12 Zheng Qinwen, No. 19 Elina Svitolina (19) and No. 27 Emma Navarro.

Wang Yafan had a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Emma Raducanu, the 2021 U.S. Open champion returning from a long-term injury.

With files from CBC Sports

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