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Denis Shapovalov plays a backhand during his singles match against Vasek Pospisil on day three of the 2020 Men's ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Centre on Jan. 15, 2020 in Auckland, N.Z.

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Wednesday in a second-round match at the ASB Classic.

Shapovalov, the top-ranked Canadian at a career-high No. 13, received a bye into the second round.

Shapovalov will face France’s Ugo Humbert in a quarter-final on Thursday.

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The 146th-ranked Pospisil, from Vancouver, qualified for the ATP Tour 250 event by winning two matches before beating Joao Sousa of Portugal in the first round.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., and Pospisil were squaring off for the first time on tour at the Auckland event.

Shapovalov won 80 per cent of his points when he got his first serve in, while Pospisil was at 68 per cent in the same category.

The two led Canada to a runner-up finish at the Davis Cup Finals in November in Madrid.

Both players have main-draw spots in next week’s Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam.

Shapovalov went 2-2 against top-20 opponents last week at the ATP Cup team event in Australia, beating then-No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 7 Alexander Zverev and losing three-setters to No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 18 Alex de Minaur.

Pospisil, 29, did not play in the ATP Cup.

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Canadians Steven Diez, Brayden Schnur advance in Australian Open qualifying

Canadians Steven Diez and Brayden Schnur won their first-round qualifying matches at the Australian Open on Wednesday before play was halted because of rain in the early afternoon.

Diez, from Toronto, downed Darian King of Barbados 6-2, 6-2.

Schnur, the No. 3 qualifying seed from Pickering, Ont., had to battle back from a set down to beat Austria’s Sebastian Ofner 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Peter Polansky, from Thornhill, Ont., will face France’s Alexandre Müller in a first-round qualifier on Thursday after the match was washed out on Wednesday.

Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez was looking ready to advance in women’s qualifying, but had her match suspended in the second set.

Fernandez, from Laval, was leading Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig 6-2, 4-1 when play was stopped. Play will resume on Thursday.

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Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., won her first-round qualifier on Tuesday and will face Maddison Inglis of Australia on Thursday.

Players need to win three qualifying matches to guarantee a spot in the main draw.

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., Montreal’s Félix Auger-Aliassime, Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil have spots in the men’s main draw.

No Canadian women have spots in the main draw after reigning U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga dropped out because of a knee injury.

Auger-Aliassime returns to win column at Adelaide International

Canada’s Félix Auger-Aliassime snapped a three-match losing streak with an 6-3, 7-6 (0) win over Australian James Duckworth in the second round of the Adelaide International on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Auger-Aliassime, from Montreal, received a first-round bye at the ATP Tour 250 event before downing the 96th-ranked Duckworth.

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Auger-Aliassime, ranked 22nd in the world, advances to the quarter-finals and will face Alex Bolt of Australia.

The 19-year-old Auger-Aliassime lost his past three matches at the ATP Cup team event after opening the 2020 season with a win over world No. 487 Michail Pervolarakis of Greece.

Auger-Aliassime is the top-ranked player in the Adelaide event, which serves as a tune up for next week’s Australian Open. Top seed Alex de Minaur of Australia was a late withdrawal.

Auger-Aliassime is gearing up for his main-draw debut at the Australian Open, the season’s first Grand Slam. The event starts Monday.

Meanwhile, former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber sustained a lower back injury and retired from her Adelaide International match on Wednesday.

The former world No. 1 trailed 6-2, 2-0 in her match against Dayana Yastremska when she stopped playing. Kerber, who won the Australian Open in 2016 and also has Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, had on-court medical help for the injury and then retired.

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Kerber lost in the first round to Sam Stosur last week at the Brisbane International.

In other second-round women’s matches in Adelaide, Donna Vekic beat Maria Sakkari 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 and American Danielle Collins upset her seventh-seeded compatriot Sofia Kenin 6-3 6-1, to secure a quarter-final spot.

In a women’s doubles quarter-final, Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatia’s Darija Jurak beat Germany’s Tatjana Maria and Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 6-3, 6-7 (6), 10-6.

The Canadian Press, with a report from The Associated Press

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