Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic fed off a supportive home crowd to advance in straight sets, to the second-round of the Rogers Cup in Montreal on Monday.
Shapovalov defeated France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3 7-5 to snap a five-match losing streak, while Raonic crushed 16 aces on course to a 6-4 6-4 win over another Frenchman, Lucas Pouille.
Their victories helped keep the nation’s hopes of a homegrown Men’s Singles Champion alive. The last Canadian man to triumph at the event was Robert Bedard in 1958.
Another promising young Canadian, 18-year-old Felix Auger Aliassime, will be in action on Tuesday when the Montreal native faces compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the first round.
There was more French woe with 2014 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga losing 6-2 6-2 to German Jan-Lennard Struff, while 16th seed Gael Monfils survived a scare from world No. 172 Peter Polansky before advancing 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3.
Monfils will next meet qualifier Ilya Ivashka, who was a straight-sets winner over South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut and American Tommy Paul were among the other players to advance to the second round on Monday.
Top American John Isner will face Australia’s Jordan Thompson, Marin Cilic will battle Bradley Klahn, and 11th seed Borna Coric and Peter Gojowczyk will have their first career meeting when the Masters 1000 event resumes on Tuesday.