Pospisil, Auger-Aliassime join Shapovalov in round of 16 at US Open

Three Canadian men have advanced to the fourth round at the U.S. Open.

Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime and Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil joined Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., in the round of 16 with wins on Saturday at the Grand Slam.

Pospisil rallied to beat No. 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in third-round action at Louis Armstrong Stadium before No. 15 seed Auger-Aliassime crushed Corentin Moutet of France 6-1, 6-0, 6-4.

Before this tournament, three Canadian men never had advanced to the third round of the event in the same year. Now, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime and Pospisil are four wins away from matching fellow Canadian Bianca Andreescu’s feat from last year when she captured the women’s title at the event.

The 30-year-old Pospisil, ranked No. 94, came into the match 0-3 in his career against Bautista Agut.

Saturday’s win was Pospisil’s second straight upset of the tournament. He beat fellow Canadian and No. 25 seed Milos Raonic in the second round.

Pospisil will face No. 21 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in the round of 16.

Pospisil looked to be heading toward defeat after losing the second and third sets against Bautista Agut, but a late break put the Canadian ahead 5-3 in the fourth before he easily served out the set.

Pospisil earned an early break in the fifth set en route to a 3-1 lead, then broke Bautista Agut once more to go up 5-2.

Pospisil had 19 aces and 70 winners, including on the final point. He converted four of eight break points and saved 12 of 15.

Bautista Agut was part of the Spanish team that defeated Canada in the Davis Cup final last November. Pospisil had been on a tear throughout that tournament, but did not get a chance to play in the championship round. Bautista Agut beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first rubber of the final round before Rafael Nadal topped Shapovalov to claim the championship.

Auger-Aliassime, 20, dispatched his opponent in under two hours, including a quick 28-minute second set.

Moutet, ranked 77th in the world, was no match for Auger-Aliassime after upsetting No. 23 seed Dan Evans of Great Britain in a suspended match that didn’t finish until Friday.

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Auger-Aliassime will next face the winner of a match between No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria and No. 31 seed Marin Cilic of Croatia.

No. 12 seed Shapovalov plays No. 7 seed David Goffin of Belgium in the fourth round Sunday.

TORONTO STAR