Tennis

Auger-Aliassime defeats fellow Canadian Shapovalov in Madrid

Felix Auger-Aliassime fought through a tight match on Sunday to beat fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 7-6(7) in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Teenage sensation to face No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal in 2nd round

Felix Auger-Aliassime, right, is congratulated by fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov after his straight-sets victory in the opening round at the Madrid Open on Sunday. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Felix Auger-Aliassime fought through a tight match on Sunday to beat fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open.

Auger-Aliassime took the victory 6-2, 7-6(7) following a close second set that saw the long-time friends exchange leads multiple times.

The win means the 18-year-old from Montreal will face No. 2 ranked Rafael Nadal in the second round of the ATP 1000 clay-court event.

Nadal, who had a bye in the first round, is considered the best clay-court player in the world.

The Spanish tennis great is looking to clinch his 50th tournament victory in his home country's capital.

WATCH | Auger-Aliassime defeats Shapovalov in all-Canadian clash:

Match Wrap: Auger-Aliassime beats Shapovalov in Madrid

3 years ago
Duration 1:41
Felix Auger-Aliassime beats fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 7-6(7) in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Previous meeting cut short

Auger-Aliassime has rocketed up the world tennis rankings this year, thanks in large part to some strong results in South American clay-court events, highlighted by a runner-up showing at the Rio Open.

He comes into the Madrid event ranked 30th. Shapovalov, of Richmond Hill, Ont., sits at No. 20.

Sunday marked the second time Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov have met in a tour event. Last year they played in the first round of the U.S. Open in New York, where Auger-Aliassime retired early due to a racing heart.

The pair is off to slow starts in the European clay-court season after both reached the semifinals in March at the Miami Open, a Masters 1000 hard-court event. Shapovalov has lost his past three matches, while Auger-Aliassime had dropped two of three going into Sunday's event.

Milos Raonic and Bianca Andreescu, Canada's top-ranked singles players on the men's and women's sides, will not play in the Madrid Open because of injuries.

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