Three of Canada’s top five men’s singles players made solid starts to their Asian swing campaigns, with Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil and Félix Auger-Aliassime all claiming wins overnight while Canada slept.
Pospisil claimed the first win of Tuesday’s action at the Chengdu Open, an ATP 250 event located one of Western China’s most populous cities. The Canadian No. 3 picked up a straight-sets victory of Radu Albot of Moldova, striking eight aces and breaking Albot’s serve four times.The World No. 86, who is looking to gain success at the tour-level following a string of success at the Challenger level, advances to play No. 7 seed Joao Sousa for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Later in the day, Auger-Aliassime continued Canada’s winning ways, defeating fellow #NextGenATP star Wu Yibing. The Chinese wildcard, who — like Auger-Aliassime one year prior — claimed the junior US Open singles title in 2017, pushed the Canadian hard in several games, but it was the Montreal-native’s greater experience at the upper levels of competition that told the difference. Auger-Aliassime dropped a tight second set, but would ultimately prevail 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1 in two hours, 26 minutes.
Up next for the 18-year-old is No. 2 seed and Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung.
Nearly a 20 hour drive away from Chengdu, Shapovalov made Canadian men three-for-three on the day at the Shenzhen Open. The No. 6 seed is coming off a solid quarterfinal showing in St. Petersburg last week and carried that momentum into the Chinese metropolis with a hard-fought 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win over Ilya Ivashka. Qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan stands between the Canadian and a second-consecutive ATP quarterfinal.