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Auger-Aliassime through to fourth round at Indian Wells with tough win over Cerundolo

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Felix Auger-Aliassime moved on to the fourth round of the men’s draw while Leylah Fernandez was eliminated in women’s competition on Monday at the B-N-P Paribas Open tennis tournament.

Auger-Aliassime, the eighth seed from Montreal, advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo.

The match ended with a final game that took over 12 minutes to complete, with Auger-Aliassime fending off two break points before finally winning on his fourth match point of the game and sixth of the match.

Auger-Aliassime struggled with his serve, managing six aces and missing 51 per cent of his first serves.

He had two of his eight double faults on match points in the final game, but finally prevailed when Cerundolo hit the ball long to cap an extended rally.

Fernandez, the 30th seed in the women’s draw, fell 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to fifth-seed Caroline Garcia of France.

Garcia hit 11 aces in the third-round match and leads the WTA Tour this season with 172.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., showed what she is capable of with an impressive second set that saw her win the tiebreak on her second set point despite not scoring a break against Garcia.

But the Frenchwoman broke Fernandez in the fourth game of the third set and cruised the rest of the way.

It was the second meeting of the season, and the second career meeting, between the players. Garcia defeated Fernandez 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the third round of the Australian Open in January.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is a fourth-round match against American Tommy Paul, who moved on with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 upset of ninth-seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

Later Monday, Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., the 2019 champion, faced top seed Iga Swiatek of Poland.

In women’s doubles, Fernandez was set to team with American Taylor Townsend in a second-round match against the top-seeded Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2023.


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