Shapovalov knocks off Pospisil in all-Canadian clash at ASB Classic

Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Wednesday in a second-round match at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

Shapovalov, the top-ranked Canadian at a career-high No. 13, received a bye into the second round.

Shapovalov will face France’s Ugo Humbert in a quarter-final on Thursday.

The 146th-ranked Pospisil, from Vancouver, qualified for the ATP Tour 250 event by winning two matches before beating Joao Sousa of Portugal in the first round.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., and Pospisil were squaring off for the first time on tour at the Auckland event.

Shapovalov won 80 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, while Pospisil was at 68 per cent in the same category.

The two led Canada to a runner-up finish at the Davis Cup Finals in November in Madrid.

Both players have main-draw spots in next week’s Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam.

Shapovalov went 2-2 against top-20 opponents last week at the ATP Cup team event in Australia, beating then-No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 7 Alexander Zverev and losing three-setters to No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 18 Alex de Minaur.

Pospisil, 29, did not play in the ATP Cup.

Auger-Aliassime gets going in Adelaide

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime snapped a three-match losing streak with an 6-3, 7-6 (0) win over Australian James Duckworth in the second round of the Adelaide International on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, received a first-round bye at the ATP Tour 250 event before downing the 96th-ranked Duckworth.

Auger-Aliassime, ranked 22nd in the world, advances to the quarter-finals and will face Alex Bolt of Australia.

The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime lost his last three matches at the ATP Cup team event after opening the 2020 season with a win over world No. 487 Michail Pervolarakis of Greece.

Auger-Aliassime is the top-ranked player in the Adelaide event, which serves as a tuneup for next week’s Australian Open. Top seed Alex de Minaur of Australia was a late withdrawal.

Auger-Aliassime is gearing up for his main-draw debut at the Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam. The event starts Monday.

In a women’s doubles quarter-final, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatia’s Darija Jurak beat Germany’s Tatjana Maria and Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-7 (6), 10-6.

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