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Auger-Aliassime advances to 4th round, Andreescu, Fernandez ousted at Indian Wells

Félix Auger-Aliassime moved on to the fourth round of the men’s draw while Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu were eliminated in women’s competition on Monday at the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament.

Auger-Aliassime, the eighth seed from Montreal, advanced with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo.

The match ended with a final game that took over 12 minutes to complete, with Auger-Aliassime fending off two break points before finally winning on his fourth match point of the game and sixth of the match.

Auger-Aliassime struggled with his serve, managing six aces and missing 51 per cent of his first serves.

He had two of his eight double faults on match points in the final game, but finally prevailed when Cerundolo hit the ball long 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.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., showed what she is capable of with an impressive second set that saw her win the tiebreak on her second set point despite not scoring a break versus 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 women’s doubles play later in the day.

Canada’s Andreescu was also eliminated from the hard-court tournament Monday, falling to the top-seeded 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 per cent of her first return points.

Andreescu, who won the tournament in 2019, then battled back in the second set, winning three-of-four break points, before ultimately dropping her first-ever matchup with the reigning world No. 1.

Next up for Auger-Aliassime is a fourth-round match versus American Tommy Paul, who moved on with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 upset of ninth-seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

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