Auger-Aliassime advances to 4th round, Andreescu, Fernandez ousted at Indian Wells
Montreal's Auger-Aliassime defeats Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-4
Félix Auger-Aliassime moved on to the fourth round of the men's draw while Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu were eliminated in women's competition on Monday at the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament.
Auger-Aliassime, the eighth seed from Montreal, advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo.
The match ended with a final game that took over 12 minutes to complete, with Auger-Aliassime fending off two break points before finally winning on his fourth match point of the game and sixth of the match.
He had two of his eight double faults on match points in the final game, but finally prevailed when Cerundolo hit the ball long to cap an extended rally.
Fernandez, the 30th seed in the women's draw, fell 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to fifth-seed Caroline Garcia of France.
Garcia hit 11 aces in the third-round match and leads the WTA Tour this season with 172.
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime beats Argentina's Cerundolo:
Fernandez, from Laval, Que., showed what she is capable of with an impressive second set that saw her win the tiebreak on her second set point despite not scoring a break against Garcia.
But the Frenchwoman broke Fernandez in the fourth game of the third set and cruised the rest of the way.
It was the second meeting of the season, and the second career meeting, between the players. Garcia defeated Fernandez 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the third round of the Australian Open in January.
Fernandez and American partner Taylor Townsend dropped a 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 decision in women's doubles play later in the day.
WATCH | Fernandez falls to France's Garcia:
Canada's Andreescu was also eliminated from the hard-court tournament Monday, falling to the top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3, 7-6 (1) in the third round.
The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., struggled with her return game in the first set, winning just 33.3 per cent of her first return points.
Andreescu, who won the tournament in 2019, then battled back in the second set, winning three-of-four break points, before ultimately dropping her first-ever matchup with the reigning world No. 1.
Next up for Auger-Aliassime is a fourth-round match against American Tommy Paul, who moved on with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 upset of ninth-seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
WATCH | World No. 1 Swiatek ousts Andreescu at Indian Wells:
'I was absolutely shocked by what I heard'
Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka moved into the round of 16 when Lesia Tsurenko withdrew as the Ukraine conflict became a point of tension in the tournament.
Shortly before her match on Monday organizers announced that Tsurenko had withdrawn for personal reasons.
The Ukrainian qualifier later told Big Tennis website those personal reasons were a panic attack brought on by a conversation the 33-year-old had days earlier with WTA chief executive Steve Simon about tennis's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Belarus has been used as a staging ground for what Russia has called a special operation in the Ukraine.
"Officially it will be written 'personal reasons', but in fact it is breathing problems and, one might say, hysteria," said Tsurenko. "I was absolutely shocked by what I heard.
"He told me that he himself does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus [do], then this is only their own opinion, and the opinion of other people should not upset me.
"At the same time, he noted that if this had happened to him and he had been in my place, he would have felt terrible."
Responding to a request for comment, the WTA told Reuters it has "consistently reflected our full support for Ukraine and strongly condemn the actions that have been brought forth by the Russian Government."
Raducanu upsets 13th-seeded Maia
Emma Raducanu is through to the fourth round of a WTA 1000 event for the first time in her career after upsetting 13th-seeded Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Raducanu, a 20-year-old from Great Britain, who was born in Toronto, won the 2021 U.S. Open title against Fernandez in the final after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon that year. Outside of those two results, she already is enjoying her best-ever performance at any of the tour's 14 biggest events: the four Grand Slam tournaments and the 10 WTA 1000 tourneys.
Ranked 77th in the world, Raducanu is back in action at Indian Wells after sitting out since February due to an ankle injury and tonsillitis.
The prize for the victory: Raducanu will square off with another U.S. Open winner in the fourth round, when she will face Swiatek.
Defending men's champion Taylor Fritz routed Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-2 in the third round.
The fourth-seeded Fritz served four aces and won 88 per cent of his first-serve points against the 30th-seeded Baez from Argentina.
Also advancing was Stan Wawrinka, who defeated No. 7 seed Holger Rune, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5.
With files from Reuters, Field Level Media and CBC Sports