The latest installment in the Félix Auger-Aliassime versus Denis Shapovalov series went the way of the Montrealer as he made it successive victories over his compatriot and took a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head.
The most recent meeting between two of Canada’s rising stars on the ATP Tour came earlier this year at the Australian Open, where Auger-Aliassime emerged as the 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 winner over Shapovalov. Prior to that, the left-hander had beaten the 20-year-old at the US Open twice – in 2018 and 2019 respectively – sandwiching Auger-Aliassime’s other win at the Madrid Open.
This match at the Barcelona Open in Spain came about after Shapovalov’s 6-3, 7-5 win over Jeremy Chardy of France and Auger-Aliassime’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the previous round. Both players had received a bye in the first round.
On the Catalan clay, there were four breaks of serve in the first set with three going in the favour of Auger-Aliassime. Shapovalov did well not to let his opponent run away with it by pegging him back to 2-5, but Auger-Aliassime proved too strong as broke again to claim the set 6-2.
The second set saw Auger-Aliassime win 89% (16/18) of his first serve points and convert one of the six break points he manufactured to take a crucial lead. Shapovalov, who received treatment on his shoulder during the match, was unable to fight back meaning his opponent advanced thanks to a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Up next for Auger-Aliassime is the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Alex de Minaur of Australia who face each other later today.