Photo by: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Mauricio Paiz|Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Félix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic continued their strong showing at the All England Club by each booking their place into the third round on Wednesday. First, Raonic defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands in straight sets 7-6(1), 7-5, 7-6(4) on Court No. 3. Afterwards, Auger-Aliassime laid claim to that same court by taking down France’s Corentin Moutet 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Prior to 2019, Auger-Aliassime had never played a tour-level match on grass before. Now, playing in just his third ATP grass-court tournament, the Montrealer improved his record on this surface to 8-2.

Félix didn’t make it easy on himself in the opening set. Through two service games, the Canadian teen was forced to save five break points in order to hold serve. His resilience early on would prove crucial, as later, Moutet gifted FAA a break point opportunity – that the Canadian would convert with a strong forehand winner to grab a 4-2 lead. The 18 year old from Montreal would hold serve from there to close out the set.

In the second set, Auger-Aliassime got off to a quick start. In the opening game, Moutet put a forehand volley into the net – giving Félix an early break. The Frenchman would fight back though. With Moutet leading at 5-4, he closed out the set by winning his second break point of the set on a forehand forced error from FAA. Félix struggled on serve during the second set, committing five double faults.

However, moments after the French qualifier leveled the match, Moutet committed three unforced errors in a row to drop serve – putting Auger-Aliassime up 1-0 in the third set. The Canadian would manage to save three break points en route to taking the set 6-4.

Then, Félix kicked off the fourth set with another break in the opening game. He followed that up with three straight aces in his next service game to jump up 2-0 and he never looked back from there. Overall, Auger-Aliassime showed a lot of fight in this match. He managed to save 12 of the 14 break points he faced, while he converted on five of 13.

The No. 19-seeded Canadian will now face Montet’s compatriot Ugo Humbert in the third round. Should FAA manage to advance to the Round of 16, a matchup against the reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic could be in the cards – should the World No. 1 also advance to the fourth round.

Raonic downs Dutchman in Wimbledon second round

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Milos reached the third round at the All-England Club for a sixth year in a row by defeating Haase 7-6 (1), 7-5, 7-6(4).

Early on, it looked like Haase might grab the early lead. At 5-5, Raonic was broken for the first time this week when he committed a forehand unforced error. But in the very next game, Milos bounced back. He struck a great backhand volley winner en route to winning a break point and sending the first set to a tiebreak. Once there, the No.15-seeded Canadian scored two early mini-breaks and won six of the seven points in the tiebreaker to take the first set. Raonic was especially effective at the net – scoring 16 of 18 net points.

In the second set, the 28 year old from Thornhill had a great chance to go up a break in the opening game. The Dutchman managed to save three break points and hold serve using a backhand volley winner in a game that lasted about 10 minutes. But at 5-5 in the set, Raonic would finally convert on a break point highlighted by a beautiful backhand volley winner. He’d hold serve, closing out the set with three straight aces.

Then, in the third set, trailing 2-1, the Canadian saved a break point early to keep things level. After both players held serve to force a tiebreak, Milos scored a mini-break to grab a 3-2 lead when Haase sailed a forehand wide. Raonic would hold serve to win the tiebreak and the match.

Overall, the Maple Leaf Missile was once again dominant on serve. He tallied 32 aces (23 more than his Dutch opponent) and lost just 11 first-service points. Raonic also improved his record in tiebreakers to 18-7 this season.

Milos is now a perfect 2-0 in his career against the Dutchman. In their only previous meeting, Raonic took down Haase in straight sets at the 2013 Rolex Paris Masters.

The Canadian has reached the quarter-finals in three of his last four events coming into Wimbledon, including attaining the semis at Stuttgart and Indian Wells. Milos has also reached the quarters in four of his last five appearances at the All England Club.

On Friday, he’ll look to get one step closer to another quarter-final appearance when he faces Riley Opelka of the United States for the first time in his career. The American scored an upset victory over World No.22 Stan Wawrinka, defeating the three-time Grand Slam champion in five sets 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 8-6. Back in February, Opelka also earned his first career ATP title by defeating Canadian Brayden Schnur at the New York Open.

Dabrowski, Pospisil net first-round doubles victories

Photo: Mauricio Paiz

Canadians Gabriela Dabrowski and Vasek Pospisil got their Wimbledon doubles’ campaigns off to a great start. First, Dabrowki with playing partner Yifan Xu cruised past Fanny Stollar and Ons Jabeur in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. While later, Pospisil and teammate Matthew Ebden took down the Croatian team of Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovc 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Dabrowski and Xu were absolutely dominant on serve in their opening-round match. The pair won 26 of 30 first-service points. They also didn’t give up any break points to their opponents, while converting on four of five of their own.

So far this grass-court season, the Canadian-Chinese duo has struggled. They came into Wimbledon with just one win on grass in four matches leading into this year’s third Grand Slam. But their result on Wednesday was an encouraging one, especially as they look to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile, Pospisil and Ebden were playing together at the All England Club for the first time. The pair also controlled the match on serve – totaling 9 aces and winning 92% of their first-service points. In total, they lost just 11 service points in the match.

The 29 year old from Vancouver is playing in his first tournament since he had surgery in January to repair a herniated disk in his back. On Canada Day, competing in the first round of the men singles draw at Wimbledon, Pospisil lost to countryman Auger-Aliassiame 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

(Photo: Mauricio Paiz)