Auger-Aliassime and Raonic both emerge victorious in their first-round matches in Rotterdam

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ROTTERDAM –


Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic were first-round singles winners on Monday at the ABN Amro Open tennis tournament.


Auger-Aliassime of Montreal battled for two hours 21 minutes to edge hardy American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8). He advanced to play the winner of a match between second-seeded Andrey Rublev of Russia and qualifier Zizou Bergs of Belgium.


Auger-Aliassime held a huge advantage in aces (18-7), but had more double faults (4-3). Cressy had 14 unforced errors, while his opponent finished with 12.


The Canadian won 75 per cent of first-serve points and had more winners (39-33). Auger-Aliassime was the only player to win a game while returning.


Meanwhile, Raonic’s powerful serve was in full effect as the veteran defeated Jesper De Jong of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 6-4.


Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., fired 20 aces and won 97 per cent of first-serve points in his first win of the season.


The former world No. 3 set himself up for victory with the only break of the match to take a 5-4 lead in the second set.


He then fired back-to-back aces to set up match point before closing out the win in one hour 42 minutes.


Raonic will play the winner of a match between eighth-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan and Croatian veteran Borna Coric.


BASELINES: Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., will play Gael Monfils of France Tuesday morning in a first-round match.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2024

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