GATINEAU, March 2, 2017
Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, the two youngest players in the draw, won their first and second round matches, respectively on Wednesday at the tenth edition of the $25,000 Gatineau Futures presented by the Turpin Group, National Bank Financial, held at the Sporthèque in Hull.
Shapovalov played Frederik Nielsen of Denmark for a spot in the quarterfinals. The 17-year-old Canadian jumped out to a fast start, winning the first five games of the match and never looked back. Faster and more powerful than his opponent, Shapovalov, seeded second in the tournament, came through with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
On Friday, he will face Germany’s Tim Puetz. The 29-year-old benefited from the retirement of the tournament’s number seven Adam El Mihdawy of the United States, leading 6-3 after 47 minutes. The pair will meet for the first time. Shapovalov is looking to win the fourth ITF Futures title of his career.
For his part, Auger-Aliassime kicked off his Gatineau singles campaign against his fellow Canadian Pavel Krainik. The first set was tightly contested and Auger-Aliassime finally broke through on his opponent’s serve in the eleventh game to secure the opening frame. The 16-year-old wrapped up the win in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. He will meet US-American Eric Quigley in the second round on Thursday afternoon.
“It’s never easy to play the first match of a tournament after three weeks of training,” said Auger-Aliassime after the match. “When I play at home, I tend to put more pressure on myself. I felt nervous at the start, but managed to fight through and get the win.”