Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime speaks to reporters during a news conference in Montreal, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Felix-Auger-Aliassime loses against Kei Nishikori in Barcelona

BARCELONA, Spain — Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime has been eliminated at the Barcelona Open.

The No. 16 seed from Montreal lost 6-1, 6-3 to No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan in the third round of the ATP Tour 500 clay-court event on Thursday.

Auger-Aliassime won just 54 per cent of his points on first serve, well below Nishikori’s 69 per-cent success rate.

The 18-year-old Montreal native had chances, but failed to capitalize on five of six break-point opportunities against the 2014 and 2015 Barcelona champion.

Since Auger-Aliassime and fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov advanced to the semifinals of the Miami Open ATP Tour Masters 1000 hard-court event last month, the young players haven’t had the same success.

Shapovalov has lost his last two matches, while Auger-Aliassime is 1-2 in the European clay-court season.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal looked closer to his clay-court best again as he beat David Ferrer 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

The 11-time Barcelona champion saved four of five break points and broke four times in what could have been his last meeting with Ferrer, who is retiring after the Madrid Open next month. It was a sign of improvement for Nadal, who lost in the semifinals in Monte Carlo last week and then needed three sets to get past Leonard Mayer in his opening match in Barcelona.

“This match was important for me,” Nadal said. “Yesterday I had a tough match. I took a step forward and was able to play with more energy.”

The top-seeded Nadal will next face 51st-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany, who upset fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 6-2. The 20-year-old Tsitsipas, No. 8 in the world, lost last year’s final in Barcelona to Nadal.

Nadal was up 5-3 in the first set before play was stopped for a rain delay. He continued to dictate the match when play resumed, serving out the set and breaking Ferrer’s next service game.

Ferrer saved three match points before finally sending a forehand into the net to give Nadal the win.

The 37-year-old Ferrer was making his last appearance at the Barcelona Open and could not hold back the tears when he received an ovation from the audience. He placed his pink headband on the court as a mark that he had played his last match here.

“I am happy to be able to finish this tournament on the centre court, playing against Nadal. I gave it my all,” Ferrer said.

Also, third-seeded Dominic Thiem broke Jaume Munar five times to earn a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Grigor Dimitrov was beaten 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) by Nicolas Jarry, who will meet Daniil Medvedev after he beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Aug. 9

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:50… Continue reading

Liberals turn over thousands of pages on WE decision, lawyers now vetting docs

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government has handed over thousands of pages… Continue reading

Samson Cree Nation reeling after 10 year-old-boy-shot, 13-year-old charged with manslaughter

‘Don’t give up, keep praying, we will get through this’

Kamloops boat crash sends 2 passengers to hospital, police investigating

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Two vessels collided on the South Thompson River Saturday,… Continue reading

Team says technical issues from ‘unprecedented demand’ left Oilers raffle in limbo

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers’ record-setting online 50/50 raffle from Friday with… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Take comfort — it could be hotter

If it’s one thing we humans are pretty good at, it’s complaining… Continue reading

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, dies at age 86

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, has… Continue reading

US investigates electrical fires in 2014 Chrysler minivans

DETROIT — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints of… Continue reading

Greece slams Turkish announcement on energy research in eastern Med

ATHENS, Greece — Greece on Monday slammed a Turkish announcement that it… Continue reading

Extreme poverty rises and a generation sees future slip away

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — As a domestic worker, Amsale Hailemariam knew from… Continue reading

More than 100 arrests, 13 officers hurt amid Chicago looting

CHICAGO — Chicago’s police commissioner says more than 100 people were arrested… Continue reading

Simon Cowell has surgery for broken back after bike accident

LOS ANGELES — Simon Cowell underwent surgery to repair a broken back,… Continue reading

Most Read