Tennis

Auger-Aliassime defeats Shapovalov in all-Canadian match at Barcelona Open

Felix Auger-Aliassime has won the latest Canadian clash with Denis Shapovalov, taking a straight-sets victory in the third round of the Barcelona Open on Thursday. Rafael Nadal ousts Kei Nishikori 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open.

Montreal native now 2-0 on clay against his compatriot

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime plays a backhand against fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in their third round match at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2021 in Barcelona on Thursday. (Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-3 in an all-Canadian third-round match at the Barcelona Open on Thursday.

The 10th-seeded Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, saved the only break point he faced on the clay court.

The seventh-seeded Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., could save only five of nine break points.

"I've had other good ones [this year], but against a player like Denis, to win in that way is positive," Auger-Aliassime said. "I was able to do a lot of good things out there and hopefully I can keep that form going."

Shapovalov didn't appear to be at full health as a trainer looked at his shoulder during the match.

Afterward, he said the shoulder is affecting him, especially on serve, but added it is not a serious injury.

Shapovalov was disappointed with his form against Auger-Aliassime.

"I just think he played his game. I didn't show up today," Shapovalov said. "He didn't have to do anything special really. It was more me missing today. Honestly, I think we both can agree that's what happened. It wasn't much of a match."

Canada's Denis Shapovalov receives medical treatment in his third round match against Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Barcelona. (Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

It was the third win in five career meetings against Shapovalov at the top level for the 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime. The Montrealer is now 2-0 on clay against the 22-year-old Shapovalov.

Auger-Aliassime was far more effective on serve. He won 78 per cent of points when he got his first serve in, 15 percentage points better than Shapovalov.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime takes win against Shapovalov at Barcelona Open:

Auger-Aliassime defeats Shapovalov in all-Canadian battle at Barcelona Open

7 months ago
2:30
Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the quarterfinals Thursday by defeating Richmond Hill's Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-3 in third round action at the Barcelona Open. 2:30

The two players are longtime friends after coming up through the junior ranks. Shapovalov stayed at Auger-Aliassime's family's house during his improbable run to the Rogers Cup semifinals in 2017.

Auger-Aliassime will face No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the quarter-finals on Friday. Tsitsipas beat No. 14 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia 7-5, 6-3 on Thursday.

Auger-Aliassime is 2-3 against Tsitsipas lifetime, having lost the past three matches.

Nadal bests Nishikori in 3 sets at Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal beat Kei Nishikori 6-0, 2-6, 6-2 Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open.

The 11-time tournament champion looked ready to roll to a quick victory after dominating the first set, but Nishikori responded with some fine net play to level it at 1-1.

Nadal broke Nishikori twice in the decisive set, converting his second match point by driving a forehand winner down the line.

The top-seeded Nadal is still searching for his best tennis after being upset in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals by Andrey Rublev. He needed three sets to beat 111th-ranked Ilya Ivashka of Belarus in his first match in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Nadal will face Britain's Cameron Norrie next. Norrie advanced after David Goffin retired in the second set of their match due to injury.

Nishikori won the outdoor clay-court tournament in 2014 and 2015 when Nadal was battling injuries.

The tournament was not held last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With files from The Associated Press

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