Félix Auger-Aliassime advanced to the fourth round of the men’s draw, while Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu were eliminated in the women’s event on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament.
Auger-Aliassime, the eighth seed from Montreal, advanced 7-5, 6-4 over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo.
The match ended in a final game that took over 12 minutes to complete, with Auger-Aliassime fending off two break points before eventually winning on his fourth match point of the game and his sixth of the match.
He had two of his eight double faults on match points in the final game, but finally prevailed when Cerundolo hit the ball away to cap an extended rally.
Fernandez, the 30th seed in the women’s draw, fell 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 to fifth seed Caroline Garcia of France.
Garcia hit 11 aces in the third-round match and leads the WTA Tour this season with 172.
WATCHES | Auger-Aliassime beat Argentina’s Cerundolo:
Fernandez, from Laval, Que., showed what she can do with an impressive second set that saw her win her second set tiebreak despite not breaking against Garcia.
But the Frenchwoman broke Fernandez in the fourth game of the third set and cruised the rest of the way.
It was the second meeting of the season, and the second career meeting, between the players. Garcia defeated Fernandez 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the third round of the Australian Open in January.
Fernandez and American partner Taylor Townsend dropped a 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 decision in the women’s doubles later in the day.
WATCHES | Fernandes falls to Frenchman Garcia in 3rd round at Indian Wells:
Canada’s Andreescu was also eliminated from the hard-court tournament on Monday, falling to first-rounder Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3, 7-6 (1) in the third round.
The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., struggled with her return game in the first set, winning just 33.3 percent of her first return points.
Andreescu, who won the tournament in 2019, then held on in the second set, winning three out of four break points, before eventually dropping her first match against the world No.1.
Next up for Auger-Aliassime is a fourth-round match against American Tommy Paul, who advanced with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 upset of ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
“I was shocked by what I heard”
Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka went through to the round of 16 when Lesia Tsurenko withdrew as the conflict in Ukraine became a point of tension at the tournament.
Shortly before her match on Monday, organizers announced that Tsurenko had withdrawn for personal reasons.
The Ukrainian qualifier later told the Big Tennis website that the personal reasons were a panic attack sparked by a conversation the 33-year-old had days earlier with WTA chief executive Steve Simon about tennis’ response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Belarus has been used as a stage for what Russia has called a special operation in Ukraine.
“Officially it will be written ‘personal reasons’, but in reality it is respiratory problems and, one would say, hysteria,” Tsurenko said. “I was absolutely shocked by what I heard.
“He told me that he does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus [do]then this is only their own opinion and the opinion of others should not upset me.
“At the same time, he noted that if this had happened to him and he was in my position, he would feel terrible.”
Responding to a request for comment, the WTA told Reuters it had “consistently expressed our full support for Ukraine and strongly condemns the actions taken by the Russian government.”
Raducanu upsets the 13th Maia
Emma Raducanu is through to the fourth round of a WTA 1000 event for the first time in her career after toppling 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Raducanu, a 20-year-old from Great Britain who was born in Toronto, won the 2021 US Open title against Fernandez in the final after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon that year. Aside from those two results, she is already enjoying her best performance at any of the tour’s 14 major events: the four Grand Slams and 10 WTA 1000 tournaments.
Ranked 77th in the world, Raducanu returns to action in Indian Wells after being sidelined in February with an ankle injury and tonsillitis.
The prize for the win: Raducanu will square off against another US Open winner in the fourth round when she takes on Swiatek.
Defending men’s champion Taylor Fritz beat Sebastian Baez 6-1, 6-2 in the third round.
Fourth-ranked Fritz served four aces and won 88 percent of first-serve points against Argentina’s 30th-ranked Baez.
Also advancing was Stan Wawrinka, who defeated No. 7 Holger Rune 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5.