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Canada’s Andreescu, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime win Aussie Open openers

Auger-Aliassime bounced Vernon, B.C., native Vasek Pospisil, Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino also lost
Bianca Andreescu of Canada plays a backhand return to Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., who missed last year’s Australian Open to take a “mental health break,” made a strong return to Melbourne Park on Sunday with a straight-set win over No. 25-ranked Marie Bouzkova of Czechia 6-2, 6-4.

Andreescu, who took one hour 41 minutes to complete the win, had a 23-14 edge in winners. She will play Cristina Bucsa in the second round after the Moldovan defeated Eva Lys of Ukraine 2-6, 6-0, 6-2.

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., opened with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Dusan Lajovic of Serbia. Shapovalov will next play Japan’s Taro Daniel, a 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 winner over Mexican qualifier Ernesto Escobedo.

Shapovalov cruised through the first set, then struggled in the second set and half of the third before finding his groove and finishing off the resilient Lajovic.

Later in the day, sixth-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal bounced Vernon, B.C., native Vasek Pospisil 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), 6-3. Vancouver’s Rebecca Marino dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision to Zhu Lin of China.

Auger-Aliassime will meet Slovakia’s Alex Molcan in the second round. Molcan outlasted Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka 6-7 (3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 in a match that lasted four hours 22 minutes.

Leylah Fernandez of Montreal was scheduled to open against Alize Cornet of France on Tuesday. Toronto’s Katherine Sebov was to make her Grand Slam singles debut against fourth-ranked Caroline Garcia of France.

Fernandez will team with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in women’s doubles play. They are scheduled to open against the seventh-seeded duo of Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and China’s Shuai Zhang.

The third-seeded duo of Ottawa’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos will open against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu and American Shelby Rogers.

Marino and American Madison Brengle will face the Swiss team of Belinda Bencic and Jill Teichmann.