Felix Auger-Aliassime is heading to the second round of the U.S. Open for the first time after surviving a stiff test in his opener, while fellow Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez recorded the first Grand Slam win of her career on Tuesday.
Auger-Aliassime, the No. 15 seed from Montreal, beat world No. 83 Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 6-3, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6) to win his first career main-draw match at the Grand Slam after losing to fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov each of the past two years.
Fernandez, a 17-year-old from Laval, Que., knocked off Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5.
Monteiro never broke Auger-Aliassime and had just two break-point opportunities — both in the fourth set.
As the score suggested, it was an extremely close match. Both players won 147 points.
WATCH | Denis Shapovalov wins Monday opener:
Auger-Aliassime will face three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray of Great Britain in the second round. Murray rallied from two sets down to win a five-setter against Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan on Tuesday.
Fernandez, ranked 104th in the world, was playing in her second career Grand Slam after losing in the first round in this year’s Australian Open.
The Canadian could climb into the top 100 for the first time in her career after knocking off Zvonareva, ranked 178th.
Fernandez will be a heavy underdog in the second round when she faces No. 2 seed and 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin of the United States.
No. 25 seed Milos Raonic of Thornhill squared off with Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, and Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil battled Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in men’s first-round matches later Tuesday.
Shapovalov, the No. 12 seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., won his first-round match on Monday and will face world No. 73 Kwon Soonwoo of South Korea on Wednesday.
No fans are at the tournament this year because of COVID-19.