World No. 10 Auger-Aliassime makes 1st-round exit at French Open after sleepless night

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round, while fellow Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Rebecca Marino each earned early exits at the French Open on Monday.

Sick Canadian loses in 3 sets to Italy's Fognini; Marino also out, Shapovalov advances

Men's tennis player reaches down near his right shoe to return a shot at the French Open.
Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was upset 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 by Italian Fabio Fognini in first-round action Monday at the French Open in Paris. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

Denis Shapovalov advanced to the second round, while fellow Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Rebecca Marino each earned early exits at the French Open on Monday.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 10th in the world, was upset 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 by Italian Fabio Fognini.

"I got a bit sick last night, didn't really sleep," Auger-Aliassime said after the match in Paris. "Yeah, sick all night. That's just a reality."

Auger-Aliassime entered the tournament after pulling out of last week's Lyon Open with a shoulder injury.

He was unable to find his best against Fognini, a former top-10 player.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime eliminated in 1st round in Paris:

Ailing Auger-Aliassime upset in French Open 1st round

4 months ago
Duration 3:25
Battling a stomach issue, 10th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal lost to Italy's Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the French Open.

"After one set [I was] just cramping and just [couldn't] move anymore." Auger-Aliassime said. "I wasn't sure whether I should keep going or give myself a shot or if I should stop. It was a difficult time, but it's OK. I just need to get healthy again."

Fognini converted eight of nine breakpoint opportunities in his first French Open win against a top-10 player.

Shapovalov exhaled visibly as he watched Brandon Nakashima's return sail out of play.

Nakashima's unforced error capped a 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 win for the mercurial Shapovalov on Monday in first-round action.

Shapovalov needs nearly 4 hours to pull out win

Shapovalov, seeded 26th in Paris, served to love in a final game that contrasted an uneven match featuring big swings in momentum.

The 24-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., had to overcome dips in form and a medical timeout to claim the win over Nakashima — an American up-and-comer and winner of last year's Next Generation ATP Finals — in a marathon time of three hours 47 minutes.

WATCH | Shapovalov on 5-set win: 'Finding my way back'

Shapovalov wins marathon match to advance to French Open 2nd round

4 months ago
Duration 4:03
Number 26 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., beat American Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 to advance to the second round of the French Open.

Shapovalov, a former world No. 10, is looking to return to form at the clay Grand Slam. He took a disappointing 7-9 record into Paris.

"Finding my way back," Shapovalov posted on Twitter following the match.

Shapovalov committed 15 double faults and 68 unforced errors in the match, but he also fired 50 winners to Nakashima's 28 and forced the American into 53 errors, including one to complete a crucial break to go up 3-1 in the fifth set.

Shapovalov will meet Italy's Matteo Arnaldi in the second round.

It will be Shapovalov's first meeting on the ATP Tour with Arnaldi, ranked 106th in the world.

Shapovalov joined Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., in the second round. Fernandez upset 21st-seed Magda Linette 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 on Sunday and is scheduled to face Denmark's Clara Tauson in second-round action on Wednesday.

Vancouver's Marino dropped a 6-3, 7-5 decision to Russia's Diana Shnaider in women's singles play.

Marino fired four aces but was successful on just 47 per cent of her first serves.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., opens her tournament Tuesday against 18th-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

WATCH | Marino ousted by Russian opponent in straight sets:

Vancouver's Rebecca Marino falls in French Open 1st round

4 months ago
Duration 1:36
Russia's Diana Shnaider eliminated Vancouver's Rebecca Marino 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the French Open.

Victorious Alcaraz, Djokovic face brief trouble

Pretty much everyone expects to see, and likely wants to see, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic face each other in the French Open semifinals. There's work to be done first, of course, and both began their journeys at Roland Garros with straight-set victories Monday against opponents making Grand Slam debuts.

These were supposed to be straightforward chances to ease into the clay-court tournament for the two popular picks to win the men's trophy -- and it turned out that way, other than a brief late blip for each.

Djokovic, a 22-time major champ seeded No. 3, was up first in Court Philippe Chatrier, facing 114th-ranked Aleksandar Kovacevic, a 24-year-old from New York.

Djokovic served for the victory at 5-4 in the third set but got broken there. Not surprisingly, he quickly righted himself and won 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (1).

"Made me work for my victory," Djokovic said.

"I played really well and held things under control for 2 ½ sets and then lost my serve and things got a little bit on a wrong side for me," said the 36-year-old Serb, who can break the men's mark for most Slam titles he currently shares with Rafael Nadal, the 14-time French Open winner sidelined by a bad hip. "But I managed to hold my nerves and played pretty much a perfect tiebreak."

Next came Alcaraz, a one-time major champ seeded No. 1, in Court Suzanne Lenglen, facing 159th-ranked qualifier Flavio Cobolli, a 21-year-old from Florence, Italy.

Alcaraz held three match points to close things at 5-3 in the third set but couldn't convert, then found himself at 5-all minutes later. Not surprisingly, he quickly righted himself and won 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

Before the start of the tournament, Djokovic called Alcaraz the logical pick to take the trophy, given his recent form on clay: 21-2 as of Monday, with three titles.

Stephens leads 4 U.S. women into 2nd round

Back on her "favourite court in the world," Sloane Stephens looked sharp in her opening match at the French Open with a 6-0, 6-4 win over two-time major finalist Karolina Pliskova.

While Stephens' only Grand Slam title came at the 2017 U.S. Open, she's also had sustained success at Roland Garros, finishing as a runner-up to Simona Halep in 2018 and reaching two quarterfinals on the red clay in Paris -- including last year.

Madison Keys, the runner-up to Stephens in New York six years ago and a semifinalist at Roland Garros in 2018, beat Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 to improve her career record in the first round of majors to 35-5.

Keys next plays American qualifier Kayla Day, who eliminated French wild-card entry Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-1.

Also, Croatian-born American Bernarda Pera beat former No. 2-ranked Anett Kontaveit 7-6 (6), 6-2.

With files from The Associated Press

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