There are two Canadians left in the final 16 of the men’s draw of the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. On Friday, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario, the 14th seed, defeated Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, 7-6, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. Then, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec, the 20th seed, defeated the 11th ranked Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, Ontario, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.
Raonic had 13 aces, compared to only two for Fucsovics. He also won 84% of his first serve points, and 70% of his second serve points. The fourth round however will be a major challenge for Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon finalist. That is because his Sunday opponent will be the great Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the eight-time Australian Open champion.
However Raonic might have got Djokovic at the right time. That is because Djokovic injured his oblique in his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the United States and elected not to practice on Saturday. Fritz also pushed Djokovic to five sets before losing. Still, Djokovic is 11-0 all-time against Raonic.
Auger-Aliassime meanwhile was simply the more consistent player against Shapovalov in the unique all-Canadian third round battle. Shapovalov had 37 unforced errors, and the brilliant shot making he has made in the past was absent on Friday.
In the fourth round, Auger-Aliassime will now play the unranked Russian, Aslan Karatsev. In a stunning upset, Karatsev beat the eighth seed Argentinian, Diego Schwartzman, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Karatsev is ranked 114th in the world.