Tennis

Nishikori maintains dominance of Auger-Aliassime in Rotterdam opener

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime lost 7-6 (4), 6-1 to Japan's Kei Nishikori in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Monday in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

World No. 45 prevails in 1st round and has yet to drop a set to Canadian in 2 matches

Seventh-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal managed to get only 54 per cent of his first serves in, well below Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori's 74 per cent clip in a first-round, straight-sets loss in Rotterdam on Monday. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime lost 7-6 (4), 6-1 to Japan's Kei Nishikori in the first round of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Monday in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The seventh-seeded Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, got just 54 per cent of his first serves in, well below Nishikori's 74 per cent clip.

Nishikori, ranked 45th in the world, hasn't dropped a set in two career matches against Auger-Aliassime.

The 20-year-old Canadian was playing for the first time since blowing a two-set lead in a fourth-round loss to Aslan Karatsev at the Australian Open.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime drops straight-sets opener to Nishikori:

Canada's Auger-Aliassime eliminated in 1st round at Rotterdam

1 year ago
Duration 2:37
2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Japan Kei Nishikori defeated Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(7-4), 6-1 Monday in Rotterdam, Netherlands as the Canadian struggled with an apparent right leg issue.
Nishikori will play the winner of a match between Australians John Millman and Alex de Minaur in the second round of the ATP Tour 500 event.

Federer scratched from Miami Open

Roger Federer is withdrawing from this month's Miami Open so he can spend extra time preparing to "work his way back out on tour," his agent told The Associated Press on Monday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not competed in more than a year after having two operations on his right knee during last season.

Federer, who turns 40 in August, is scheduled to make his return to the tour next week in a hard-court tournament at Doha, Qatar. He posted a photo of himself on Twitter last Friday with the caption: "The countdown to Doha begins."

That will be his first event since he reached the semifinals at the Australian Open in February 2020.

As of now, he also is slated to participate in the hard-court tournament at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that begins March 14.

"After Doha and maybe Dubai, [Federer] will go back and do a training block to continue to slowly work his way back out on tour," his agent Tony Godsick wrote in an email to the AP.

Federer beat John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in the final to win the Miami Open in 2019, the last time it was held.

Tied with Djokovic in weeks at No. 1

Novak Djokovic is gaining on Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, and he's already caught Federer in another significant statistic: As of Monday, Djokovic has been No. 1 in the ATP rankings for a total of 310 weeks.

That equals Federer's career record for most time spent atop the rankings. And no matter what happens over the next week, Djokovic is assured of breaking Federer's mark on March 8.

Djokovic's Australian Open championship last month gave the 33-year-old from Serbia 18 Grand Slam singles trophies. Only Federer and Nadal, each with 20, have more.

There was no movement in the ATP's Top 10 on Monday.

But if current No. 3 Medvedev reaches the final at the hard-court tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, that concludes Sunday, he would overtake Nadal and move up to a career-high No. 2.

That would make Medvedev the first man other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Andy Murray to be first or second since International Tennis Hall of Fame electee Lleyton Hewitt was No. 2 behind Federer in July 2005.

Ash Barty is still No. 1 on the women's side, followed by Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina.

With files from The Associated Press

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