(Auckland, New Zealand) Montrealer Félix Auger-Aliassime will play his first singles match in just over two months when he faces German Daniel Altmaier in the second round of the Auckland Tennis Classic this week .
This clash, which should take place on Wednesday, materialized following Altmaier’s victory in two sets of 7-6 (5), 6-2 against the American Marcos Giron on Monday.
Fourth seed in the tournament and ranked 27th in the world, Auger-Aliassime benefits from a direct bye into the second round.
He will face Altmaier, 57th in the world, for the very first time on the ATP circuit.
For Auger-Aliassime, this will be his first singles match since November 1 when he lost to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round of the Paris Masters.
Auger-Aliassime was one of Canada’s representatives at the United Cup, an 18-nation mixed team tournament held simultaneously in Sydney and Perth, Australia, last week.
However, knee problems forced him to skip singles matches in which he was to take part against the Chilean Nicolas Jarry, first, then against Tsitsipas. However, he participated in a mixed doubles match with his compatriot Stacey Fung, against Greece, which the Canadian tandem lost 7-5, 6-4.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov was eliminated 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Auckland tournament against Austrian Sebastian Ofner on Monday.
It was Shapovalov’s first competitive match since July at Wimbledon, having been sidelined since with a knee injury.
Shapovalov had to go through qualifying, but ultimately earned a bye to the main draw of the tournament.
The Auckland Classic is one of the preparatory tournaments in anticipation of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, which will begin next Sunday in Melbourne.
American Chris Eubanks was hampered by a muscle injury before being eliminated in the first round of the tournament on Monday.
Fifth seed in the tournament, Eubanks had to undergo treatment to try to relieve a gluteal muscle injury. He eventually lost 7-6 (5), 6-2 against the Dutchman Botic van der Zandschulp.
It is unclear at this time whether the injury could prevent Eubanks from participating in the Australian Open.
Eubanks indicated that he was not comfortable towards the end of the first round and requested the presence of the official trainer of the circuit. He received treatment between the two innings and elected to continue the match. However, he seemed limited at times and unable to run at full speed.
Van der Zandschulp made a first break of serve in the second game of the second set to give himself a 2-0 lead. He added another break while leading 5-2.
In another first round match, Frenchman Gaël Monfils lost in three sets of 6-2, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4) against Hungarian Fabian Marozsan.