Felix Auger-Aliassime enters 2021 Australian Open with momentum

Felix Auger-Aliassime (Wikimedia Commons)

The 2021 Australian Open starts on Sunday with seven Canadians in the singles draws. The Canadian with the most momentum heading into the first major of the season is Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec. That is because the 20-year-old reached his seventh career final on Sunday in Melbourne before losing to Daniel Evans of Great Britain, 6-2, 6-3, in the final of the Murray River Open.

Auger-Aliassime was seeded third in the tournament. He defeated Yuchi Sugita of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in the second round, Egor Gerasimov of Belarus 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in the third round, Jiri Vesely (7-6 in the first set, before Vesely had to pull out due to a left shoulder injury) in the quarterfinals, and Corentin Moutet of France 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals.

Auger-Aliassime will now be one of three seeded players in the men’s draw. Seeded 20th, he will be joined by Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, Ontario, who is seeded 11th, and Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario, who is seeded 14th. In the first round, Shapovalov will play Jannik Sinner of Italy, Raonic will play Federico Coria of Argentina, and Auger-Aliassime will play Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany.

Canada’s other male entrant is Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia. However, he has a much tougher opponent in Daniil Medvedev of Russia, the fourth seed, and the 2019 U.S. Open finalist.

On the women’s side for the first round of the Australian Open, Canada will be led by 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ontario, who is seeded eighth. She will play Mihaela Buzarnesacu of Romania. Meanwhile, Rebecca Marino of Vancouver, British Columbia, will play Kim Birrell of Australia, and Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec, will play Elise Mertens of Belgium. Mertens reached the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open.

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