Auger-Aliassime into round of 16 at Italian Open after upset of 8th seed Schwartzman
Canadian teammate Shapovalov quickly disposes of Polish qualifier in opening match
Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the third round of the Italian Open after notching an upset victory on Tuesday.
Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, downed No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-1, 6-3 at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event.
The Canadian, ranked 21st in the world, converted on five of six break-point opportunities against Schwartzman, a semifinalist on clay at the French Open last year.
"I think he was struggling to find openings on the court. I took advantage of that," Auger-Aliassime said.
"I kept going for my shot with no hesitation, stick to my game plan. I was able to do that well outside of the little bit of slump in the second when I got broken back. I missed a few easy shots."
WATCH | Auger-Aliassime breezes to victory over Schwartzman:
Auger-Aliassime won 76 per cent of points when he got his first serve in, 28 percentage points better than Schwartzman.
"I can be happy also with the way I served," Auger-Aliassime said. "Outside of one game, it was very complete.
"Yeah, I mean, overall good performance from my part. Straight sets. I can be happy to get through before the rain and to be in the third round."
Auger-Aliassime will face the winner of a match between No. 12 seed David Goffin of Belgium and Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis in the round of 16.
Earlier, No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., crushed Polish qualifier Kamil Majchrzak 6-1, 6-3 in a first-round match.
WATCH | Shapovalov makes quick work of Poland's Kamil Majchrzak:
Shapovalov saved the only break point he faced.
He won 81 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, 40 per cent ahead of Majchrzak's rate.
Shapovalov will face world No. 69 Stefano Travaglia, of Italy, in the second round.
Nadal casts doubt over Olympic participation
Rafa Nadal has raised doubts about his participation in this year's Tokyo Olympics amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying Tuesday he has to be flexible and cannot give a clear answer until he organizes his schedule for the year.
Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas until the end of May as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising new questions about whether the rescheduled July 23-Aug. 8 Games should go ahead.
"In a normal world I'll never think about missing Olympics," he said from the Rome Masters. "There's no doubt about that. Everybody knows how important it has been for me to always play in the Olympics.
"Under these circumstances, I don't know. … I need to organize my schedule. In a normal year, I know my schedule almost 100 per cent from Jan. 1 until the end of the season."
Japan's top-ranked men's and women's players — Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka — have raised concerns about staging the Games amid the pandemic.
WATCH | Should COVID-19 cases among athletes affect Olympic protocols?
With files from Reuters