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Leylah Fernandez takes Wimbledon opener in 3 sets against Ukrainian opponent

Leylah Fernandez moved on while Felix Auger-Aliassime suffered an upset loss in first-round action Monday at Wimbledon in England.

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., routed Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to post her first career main-draw victory at the All England Club.

She suffered a first-round exit in her only other appearance at the grass-court Grand Slam in 2021.

Montreal’s Auger-Aliassime, seeded 11th in the men’s draw, was ousted by American lucky loser Michael Mmoh, who posted a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 triumph.

Auger-Aliassime, playing for the first time since a first-round loss to Fabio Fognini at the French Open, had 17 aces to Mmoh’s 12 and hit 10 more winners than his opponent, but was done in by 64 unforced errors.

Fernandez, a 20-year-old lefty, won just 65 per cent of her first-serve points, but broke the 29-year-old Baindl’s serve six times en route to victory.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., was scheduled to face Radu Albot of Moldova later Monday.

The Canadian, ranked 95th in the world entering the tournament, faces a difficult match versus No. 5 Caroline Garcia of France in the next round.

Mmoh took advantage of a consistent service game to win his first career match against Auger-Aliassime.

The American was accurate on 71 per cent of his first serves and won 82 per cent of first-service points, compared to 60 per cent and 80 per cent for Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime fell to 13-11 on the season, a stark contrast from a 2022 campaign that saw him win four ATP Tour titles, rise to No. 6 in the world rankings and lead Canada to its first-ever Davis Cup title.

He lost in the first round of Wimbledon for the second straight year after reaching the quarterfinals in 2021.

Steve Carr

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