Canada’s Vasek Pospisil plays a shot against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

It was always going to be a tough ask for Vasek Pospisil to get past Mattero Berrettini in the French Open first round. The Italian is ranked No. 8 in the world and has been one of the more consistent players on the ATP Tour over the last couple of years.

This clash at the opening stage of the main draw at Roland Garros was the first singles meeting between the two players. Their only previous match against one another came in a doubles rubber at last year’s Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, in which Pospisil and compatriot Denis Shapovalov were beaten 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 by Berrettini and Fabio Fognini.

Here in Paris, the Canadian got off to a solid start but Berrettini really turned on the style mid-way through the first set, breaking Pospisil to take a 3-2 lead. He repeated the trick just a few games later to take the opening set 6-3.

Sprinting out to a 5-0 advantage in the second set, Berrettini was making things look ominous for Pospisil, who was playing for the first time since his run to the Round of 16 at the US Open which included victories over fellow Canadian Milos Raonic and eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. The Canadian would go on to lose the set 6-1.

Despite fending off five break points to stay on serve in the third, Pospisil finally succumbed to Berrettini in the seventh game, and again in the ninth, as the Italian confirmed his place in the tournament’s second round, where he will face Lloyd Harris of South Africa.