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Sport

Auger-Aliassime makes early French Open exit

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - September 28, 2020 Canada's Felix Auger Aliassime in action during his first round match against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Felix Auger-Aliassime’s main-draw debut at the French Open ended in brutal fashion with a first-round exit as the Canadian was humbled 7-5 6-3 6-3 by Yoshihito Nishioka on Monday.

The 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, in his second senior appearance at Roland Garros after losing in qualifying in 2018, never found his range under threatening skies on Court Nine.

Japan’s Nishioka dropped serve early in the first set before taking control of the rallies and benefiting from his 19th-seeded opponent’s 58 unforced errors.

He will next face French wildcard Hugo Gaston.

“You always see what you could do better but when you’re in the moment you try your best. You try to win but sometimes it’s not enough, you’re not good enough on the day,” Auger-Aliassime told reporters.

“So now it’s past me and I’ve got to accept that. It’s not easy. It’s tough. But, yeah, for sure I felt like today I was just not playing good enough.”

Fourteenth seed Fabio Fognini was also sent packing when he lost 7-5 3-6 7-6(1) 6-0 to Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.

The Italian, who had surgery on both his ankles earlier this year, limped to his chair after the third set and summoned the physiotherapist.

The 33-year-old resumed play but seemed to lose all interest in the match, handing the remaining games to his opponent.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond, Christian Radnedge and Clare Fallon

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