Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime prevails in opening round of Italian Open

ROME — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the second round of the Italian Open after a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 win over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic on Sunday.

Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, exacted some revenge on Krajinovic after losing to the Serbian in the first round of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 clay-court event last year.

Sunday marked Auger-Aliassime’s first win in three attempts against Krajinovic.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 20th in the world, broke the 36th-ranked Krajinovic in the final game to finish off a match that lasted just over two hours 45 minutes.

The Canadian was better on first serve, earning 71 per cent of points when he got it in as compared to 60 per cent for Krajinovic.

Auger-Aliassime was coming off a straight-sets loss to Norway’s Casper Ruud in last week’s ATP Tour Masters 1000 stop in Madrid.

Auger-Aliassime will face No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the second round. Schwartzman won their only previous meeting in three sets last year on an indoor hard-court in Cologne, Germany.

No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., is the only other Canadian in the men’s singles draw. He will face a qualifier in the first round.

On the women’s side, No. 6 seed Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., is scheduled to return after retiring from the final of Miami Open with a foot injury last month before testing positive for COVID-19. The Canadian will get a bye in the first round.

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