(Paris) Canadian Denis Shapovalov reached the second round of the French Open on Monday, while his compatriot Félix Auger-Aliassime was shown the exit early.
Auger-Aliassime, the tournament’s 10th seed, was upset 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 by Italian Fabio Fognini. The latter converted eight of his nine break points at the expense of the Quebecer, visibly diminished physically. But FAA had made no secret that he was not arriving in his best physical shape. He remained on a package before his quarter-final in Lyon last week, because of a painful shoulder.
“My shoulder is not well, but that was not the problem, explained Auger-Aliassime to the journalists present. I felt bad on Sunday evening, I slept badly. I woke up this morning struggling with a bunch of stuff, thinking, ‘That can’t be, I’m sick for the game. I tried to warm up, see a doctor, see what I could take. I had cramps, I couldn’t move. I wasn’t sure if I should try, or quit, I didn’t know. I need to recover. I play with painkillers. I try to get away with it. I hope it will get better. »
An obviously mentally heavy moment for Auger-Aliassime, whose defeat then becomes secondary to his physical condition.
“I have to understand why I got sick. A week ago, in Lyon, I was also sick. I have to make a point, understand a few things, do a whole series of analyses. I haven’t been in good health lately. I fight a bit with my body, to try to play, to train. »
Before continuing on a more optimistic note: “It’s a difficult time but there is no need to panic”.
“FAA” is the first top 10 player to be eliminated from the 2023 edition of the Parisian Grand Slam.
Auger-Aliassime, always advised on clay by Toni Nadal, the uncle and ex-coach of Rafael Nadal, arrived in Paris with only one match won on ocher in 2023.
A year ago, the Quebecer made it to the round of 16, where he pushed Nadal to fight for five sets. But, apart from 2022, he has always lost in the first round, in 2020, 2021, and now 2023.
Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., struggled at times but recovered in time to defeat American Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 3-6 and 6-3.
Shapovalov, the 26th seed, notably committed 15 double faults during a duel that continued for three hours and 47 minutes on Parisian clay.
The representative of the maple leaf will face the Italian Matteo Arnaldi in the next round.
On the women’s side, Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino lost 6-3, 7-5 in the first round to Russia’s Diana Shnaider.