Auger-Aliassime beats Musetti to set up all-Canadian match against Shapovalov
Montreal native won the only match between them on clay in 2019 in Madrid
Felix Auger-Aliassime has set up a Canadian clash with Denis Shapovalov after a win in the second round of the Barcelona Open.
The 10th-seeded Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, downed Italy's Lorenzo Musetti 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 at the clay-court event on Wednesday.
It sets up a third-round match between the seventh-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., and Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Tour 500 tournament
At the top level in the head-to-head series, the two have split four matches. Auger-Aliassime won the only match on clay in 2019 in Madrid.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime defeats Musetti at the Barcelona Open:
Born one year apart, the 22-year-old Shapovalov and 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime are longtime friends. Shapovalov stayed at Auger-Aliassime family's house for part of his improbable run to the Rogers Cup semifinals in 2017.
Against the 87th-ranked Musetti, Auger-Aliassime saved six of eight break points.
The Canadian won 75 per cent of points when he got his first serve in, 18 percentage points better than his opponent.
Shapovalov beat France's Jeremy Chardy in straight sets in the second round on Tuesday.
Nadal cruises to win
Rafael Nadal needed three sets to beat his 111th-ranked opponent in his first match at the Barcelona Open on Wednesday, while Fabio Fognini was disqualified for alleged verbal abuse.
Fognini was defaulted while trailinig 6-0, 4-4 against qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain, after a line judge told the chair umpire that the ninth-seeded Italian had used foul language.
Fognini denied wrongdoing and was upset as he left the court, breaking his racket after hitting it at the net post on his way out.
Nadal had to overcome a slow start to defeat Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the clay-court tournament.
The Spaniard lost the first two games and struggled to hold his serve in the third. He recovered quickly after losing the first set and cruised in the second, then broke early in the third.
Nadal is seeking a record 12th title in the Barcelona tournament. He won the event six times in its last nine editions. The Barcelona Open was not played last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nadal was coming off a three-set loss to Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters last week.