Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov, Fernandez be taught Australian Open first-round opponents


Three Canadians — Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Leylah Annie Fernandez — discovered who their first-round opponents might be on the 2022 Australian Open after the singles draw happened on Thursday.

Auger-Aliassime, the highest-ranked Canadian in singles at a career-best No. 9, will face Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori within the first spherical in Melbourne. Auger-Aliassime enters the match with momentum on his aspect, having captained Group Canada to its first-ever ATP Cup win in Sydney final week.

In his most up-to-date Grand Slam look, Auger-Aliassime reached the semifinals of the US Open, the place he misplaced to the eventual champion, Daniil Medvedev.

Shapovalov, who led Canada to ATP Cup glory alongside Auger-Aliassime, enters the occasion ranked No. 14 and can open 2022’s match in opposition to Serbia’s Laslo Djere.

Throughout final 12 months’s Australian Open, Shapovalov reached the third spherical, the place he ultimately misplaced to Auger-Aliassime.

The 22-year-old’s greatest run at a Grand Slam got here eventually 12 months’s Wimbledon, the place he reached the semifinals earlier than falling to Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 whose presence on the Australian Open has grow to be a lightning-rod second for the host nation amid a protracted visa dispute stemming from him being unvaccinated.

On the ladies’s aspect of the draw, Fernandez, the No. 23 seed and 2021 US Open finalist, will start the match with a conflict in opposition to Australian wild card Maddison Inglis.

Fernandez might be trying to replicate her storied run in New York final September, and could possibly be headed for a rematch in opposition to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the No. 2 seed who she confronted within the US Open semifinal, in Spherical 4 of the Australian Open.

One different Canadian lady, Rebecca Marino, could possibly be concerned within the girls’s singles predominant draw after she received her first two matches of qualifying. Her presence within the match hinges on the ultimate spherical of qualifying this night, the place she’s going to tackle Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova.

The doubles draw for the Australian Open will happen later this week. Gabriela Dabrowski, the two-time Grand Slam combined doubles champion from Ottawa, Ont., is anticipated to be one of many favourites in Melbourne. Final 12 months, alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands of america, she misplaced within the second spherical to the American duo of Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

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