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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Talented Felix Auger-Aliassime can make a winning Rogers Cup debut

Elise Mertens should best brittle Eugenie Bouchard

Felix Auger-Aliassime faces Lucas Pouille in Toronto
1 of 1

ATP Rogers Cup
Sky Sports Arena, 4pm Tuesday
WTA Rogers Cup
BT Sport 2, 4pm Tuesday

Felix Auger-Aliassime would feel more at home if the ATP Rogers Cup was being staged in his native Montreal this year but the Canadian teenager should still enjoy plenty of crowd support when he takes on Lucas Pouille in his Toronto opener.

Auger-Aliassime, who turns 18 on Wednesday and is playing in his first Rogers Cup, has won three valuable Challenger Tour titles in 2018 and a strong run will see the wildcard edge further towards the top 100 in the ATP rankings.

Rogers Cup tournament previews

Each of his Challenger victories have come on clay, but the Canadian tyro won the junior US Open two year ago so there's reason to think he will trouble Pouille, who has looked short of his best for some time.

The Frenchman would take some beating if returning to peak form but he struggled past world number 302 Vincent Millot in the second round of last week's Citi Open before Denis Kudla ended his title bid.

While Kudla is a solid enough opponent, Auger-Aliassime has the potential to quickly rise in the rankings, just as his compatriot and close friend Denis Shapovalov has done since beating Nick Kyrgios in Toronto two years ago.

Another Canadian takes to the court in Montreal but Eugenie Bouchard may not have much luck when she faces Australian Open semi-finalist Elise Mertens.

Bouchard got the better of Mertens in their junior tussles, understandably so given she is 20 months older than the Belgian, but the younger player has won both of their senior clashes in straight sets.

The Canadian was once ranked fifth in the world but has dropped out of the top 100 and a poor overall Rogers Cup record (won four, lost seven) suggests that she is unlikely to trouble the consistent Mertens.

F Auger-Aliassime
1pt 6-4 bet365, Betway
E Mertens to win 2-0
2pts 11-10 general

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The Canadian tyro won the junior US Open two year ago so there's reason to think he will trouble Pouille
E.W. Terms
Sky bet