French Open: Ninth-seed Shapovalov draws Simon, Raonic withdraws

PARIS — Top-ranked Canadian Denis Shapovalov drew local favourite Gilles Simon as his first round opponent at the French Open, while Milos Raonic once again pulled out of the clay court tournament.

The 21-year-old Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., is seeded ninth in the men's draw at Roland Garros. He'll face world No. 53 Simon for the second time in his ATP Tour career.

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Shapovalov defeated Simon in the French capital in their only other meeting, albeit on a hardcourt surface, at the 2019 Paris Masters.

Shapovalov has a potential fourth-round meeting with World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas should they advance that far. Shapovalov has won three of four career meetings with the 22-year-old Greek.

Raonic, meanwhile, withdrew from the tournament Thursday. No reason was given for pulling out of the event.

The 29-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., whose game is better suited to hardcourt and grass surfaces, hasn't played at Roland Garros since 2017.

Meanwhile, 21st-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal will face Yoshihito Nishioka and Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil will take on seventh-seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy. Toronto's Steven Diez, who qualified for the main draw on Thursday, will learn his opponent later.

On the women's side, Leylah Fernandez, last year's junior champion, will play 31st-seed Magda Linette of Poland and wild-card Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., will face Anna Kalinskaya of Russia.

Men's and women's singles competition begins Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 24, 2020.

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