Tennis·ROUNDUP

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime battles into 3rd round at Australian Open

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) on Thursday in the second round of the Australian Open.

Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski wins opening doubles match alongside Giuliana Olmos

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime celebrates after winning a point during his 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) second-round win over Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday. (Simon Baker/The Associated Press)

Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) on Thursday in the second round of the Australian Open.

It's the first time the two had ever played each other on the ATP Tour.

Ranked No. 9 in the world, Auger-Aliassime was heavily favoured over Davidovich Fokina, who's 50th in the world rankings.

Auger-Aliassime will face Britain's Dan Evans in the third round. No. 24 Evans will be well rested, having advanced by a walkover against France's Arthur Rinderknech.

In doubles action, Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski got off to a perfect start alongside partner Giuliana Olmos of Mexico after the sixth-seeded duo won their first-round match against Columbia's Camila Osorio and France's Clara Burel 6-2, 6-3.

WATCH l Auger-Aliassime tops Davidovich Fokina at Australian Open:

Auger-Aliassime beats Davidovich Fokina in 2nd round at Australian Open

1 year ago
Duration 2:29
Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime advances to the third round of the Australian Open by defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(4).

Daniil Medvedev overcame Nick Kyrgios and all his tricks and the constant noise of a boisterous crowd to advance to the third round.

Second-seeded Medvedev, who won the U.S. Open last year and was runner-up in Australia, is the highest-ranked player in the tournament after nine-time champion Novak Djokovic was deported for failing to meet Australia's strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

He had to work hard for his 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over No. 115-ranked Kyrgios, who worked up the fans in Rod Laver Arena like a crowd at a soccer match.

Raducanu, Murray bounced in 2nd round

U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Danka Kovinic in the second round.

Raducanu won the U.S. Open as a qualifier last September in just her second main draw appearance at a major.

The 19-year-old Raducanu entered the Australian Open as the 17th seed and beat 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round.

But after going up a double break early, Raducanu had treatment for what appeared to be blisters on her right hand and then dropped four of the next five games to lose the set.

She rallied to level the match in the second but again needed treatment on her hand before the third set.

No. 98-ranked Kovinic had two match points on serve and, after Raducanu saved one with a big forehand winner, closed it out with a backhand winner down the line to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Andy Murray is out of the Australian Open two days after posting his first win at the season-opening tennis Grand Slam tournament in five years.

The former No. 1-ranked Murray lost to 120th-ranked Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.

Murray only lost five games in a best-of-five-set Davis Cup encounter against Daniel in their only previous encounter, and he had never lost to anyone ranked above No. 91 at a major tournament.

But Daniel, a 28-year-old qualifier from Japan, broke in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4 lead and then served it out to advance to the third round of a major for the first time.

The 34-year-old Murray, a five-time runner-up in Australia, was playing on a wild-card entry.

His win over 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round was his first at the Australian Open since 2017. Injuries and illness kept him out in 2018 (hip), 2020 (pelvis) and 2021 (COVID-19), and he lost a five-setter in the first round in 2019, which many thought might have been his last in Australia.

No. 4 seed Tsitsipas overcomes challenge from Baez

No. 4-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over Sebastian Baez in a match featuring two former junior world No. 1 players.

French Open runner-up Tsitsipas was a semifinalist at the Australian Open last year and has now reached the third round at Melbourne Park for the fourth straight year.

Tsitsipas said the 21-year-old, No. 88-ranked Baez has "one of the biggest forehands" he's faced and he was glad he "overcame that obstacle."

He will next play either No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov or Benoit Paire.

Earlier, Taylor Fritz beat Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) in an all-American battle while Alex de Minaur and Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced with straight-sets victories.

Other men's winners on Day 4 included No. 5 Andrey Rublev, 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic and 70th-ranked Maxime Cressy of the U.S.

3rd-seeded Muguruza, 6th-seeded Kontaveit suffer upsets

Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza became the highest-seeded player to exit the women's draw just minutes after No. 6 Anett Kontaveit lost.

Muguruza never managed to earn a single break point and made a whopping 33 unforced errors, more than twice her opponent's total, in a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Alize Cornet under a bright blue and cloudless sky at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

WATCH l Cornet stuns world No. 3 Muguruza at Australian Open:

Cornet upsets world No. 3 Muguruza in Australian Open 2nd round

1 year ago
Duration 1:13
France's Alize Cornet, ranked 61st in the world, defeats two-time Grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3, 6-3 and advances to the third round at the Australian Open.

Here's how unexpected that result was: Muguruza is a two-time Grand Slam champion and a two-time major runner-up, too, including making it to the final at the Australian Open in 2020.

And the 61st-ranked Cornet? She's appearing in her 63rd career major tournament — and 60th in a row — but never has been beyond the fourth round.

Cornet will get a chance to equal that showing when she plays Saturday, her 32nd birthday.

Muguruza said she didn't feel at her best physically and noted that the start of this season was "kind of stressful," because COVID-19 spread through her support team and she was apart from them for two weeks.

Kontaveit, who lost to Muguruza in the title match at the WTA Finals, was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by 19-year-old Clara Tauson of Denmark.

No. 2 seed Sabalenka advances after shaky start

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka served a dozen double-faults in the first set and appeared to be on the brink of a second-round defeat before recovering to hold off 100th-ranked Wang Xinyu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Sabalenka finished with 19 double-faults, including nine in her first two service games, in her win over Wang. She said she regained her composure during a quick trip to the locker room following the first set.

The U.S. Open and Wimbledon semifinalist from last year said she had "a lot of experience of playing without the serve," and she'd reassured herself that she had enough other weapons to win "even if you can't serve."

Sabalenka, who entered the year's first major with a chance of reaching the top ranking, has made a stuttering start to 2022, with her service woes including a combined 39 double-faults contributing to first-round losses at tuneup events in Adelaide.

She faces No. 31-seeded Marketa Vondrousova, the 2019 runner-up at Roland Garros, who beat Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 7-5.

No. 7 Iga Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, No. 19 Elise Mertens, Sorana Cirstea and Maddison Inglis, who beat Hailey Baptiste 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-2, were among the other women advancing.

Zhang Shuai of China moved into the third round when No. 12 Elena Rybakina retired from their match while trailing 6-4, 1-0.

Sam Stosur's 6-2, 6-2 loss to No. 10 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ended the 2011 U.S. Open champion's 20th, and last, singles campaign at the Australian Open.

The 37-year-old Australian received a wildcard entry for the singles draw. She'll continue in the doubles tournament.

With files from CBC Sports, The Associated Press and Reuters

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