Bianca Andreescu raises her arms over head head in celebration.

Never has a second-round result felt so encouraging.

There were plenty of question marks heading into Bianca Andreescu’s return to the WTA Tour last week, not a lot of players can take a long layoff and then immediately play well upon their return to competitive action.

Of course, great champions can do that. And Andreescu is a champion, after all.

Here’s what you need to know.

In Case You Missed It: Bianca makes solid comeback in Stuttgart

After seven months away from the game, some rust from Andreescu would have been understandable as she made her return to the tour at the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart.

However, the Canadian looked right at home back on court, turning in a strong performance in her first tournament since October. She won her opening match in straight sets before going toe-to-toe with the world No. 4, Aryna Sabalenka in a thrilling second-round battle.

Sabalenka ultimately was able to defeat Andreescu in three sets, but was given everything she could handle by the Canadian. The two strong matches from Andreescu are a good sign going forward for the 2019 US Open champion.

Not that the loss to Sabalenka was a bad one to begin with, but it was further redeemed when the world No. 4 made it all the way to the final in Stuttgart, ending Anett Kontaveit’s indoor winning streak in the quarter-finals before besting the new world No. 2 Paula Badosa in the semis.

In the end, Stuttgart ended the way every big event on the WTA tour has ended recently, with Iga Świątek dominating the final. The world No. 1 won her fourth tournament in a row in another blowout, dropping less than five games for the seventh time in a row in a final as she beat Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2.

It was not all smooth sailing for the world’s best player, who dropped a set for the first time in over a month, ending her streak of 28 consecutive sets when Liudmila Samsonova took the first set of their semi-final in a tiebreak. However, the Pole would rally to win the match and then take the title, stretching her winning streak to 23 matches.

Over in Barcelona, Félix Auger-Aliassime started to claw some form back after a poor run the last few weeks, winning consecutive matches for the first time since February and reaching the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open.

After a gritty first-round win over Carlos Taberner, Auger-Aliassime impressed with a solid victory over Frances Tiafoe to reach the last eight. However, despite taking the opening set, he was beaten in the quarter-finals by Diego Schwartzman.

Auger-Aliassime slipped one spot in the rankings due to the Barcelona results, as similarly to Stuttgart, the event was won by a young gun who has been on fire in 2022, Carlos Alcaraz, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta in an all-Spanish final.

In a fun bit of circularity, Alcaraz entered the Top 10 by winning Barcelona, 17 years after the man whose name adorns the main court at the event also broke into the Top 10 by winning the title in the Catalan capital, the man who is also Alcaraz’s mentor, Rafael Nadal.

Monday marks the 17-year anniversary of Nadal entering the Top 10 and he has not yet left, by far and away a record on the ATP Tour.

Unlike Alcaraz, the home court did not ultimately prove fruitful for Novak Djokovic, whose woeful 2022 continued last week in Belgrade. The Serb struggled through most of the tournament, dropping the first set of every match he played.

The world No. 1 was able to battle back in his first three matches to reach the final, but his home tournament ended in a resounding thud when he was bageled in the third set of the final by Andrey Rublev, who picked up his third title of 2022.

At the WTA event in Istanbul, Anastasia Potapova won her first career title at the WTA 250 event, beating countrywoman Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets in the final.

What to Watch: Full Canadian Slate in Madrid

The first WTA 1000 event of the clay season begins this week with the Mutua Madrid Open. Two Canadians have received direct entry to the main draw: Leylah Annie Fernandez and Andreescu.

Both Canadian women will be making their main-draw debuts in the Spanish capital. Fernandez competed in qualifying in 2021, while Andreescu has never competed at the Madrid Open.

Gabriela Dabrowski and partner Giuliana Olmos will be seeded third in the women’s doubles.

Nine of the WTA’s Top 10 will be competing in Madrid, led by the woman who has won every WTA 1000 event so far in 2022, World No. 1 Świątek. The 20-year-old is looking to become the first player, male or female, to win the first four 1000-level (or equivalent) events of the season.

Sabalenka is the defending champion. The draw will be announced on Tuesday.

FAA Top Seed in Portugal

Auger-Aliassime continues to try to re-find his early season form this week as he leads the field at the Estoril Open. He is the No. 1 seed and is one of only two Top 20 players in the draw, along with his Barcelona conqueror, Schwartzman.

The Canadian has a first-round bye and could open against Taberner for the second week in a row should the Spaniard beat Lloyd Harris. He could have a potentially tricky quarter-final against either eighth seed Sebastian Korda or former US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who is continuing his comeback this week in Estoril.

Monte Carlo runner-up Alejandro Davidovich Fokina looms in Auger-Aliassime’s half and is a potential semi-final opponent, as is another one of the Canadian’s Barcelona opponents, Tiafoe.

The other event on the ATP Tour this week is in Munich and features Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud.

Under the Radar: Mboko reaches first final

Canada’s tennis future is bright, but it’s not just because of the young stars on the main tours like Fernandez, Andreescu, Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov.

If you don’t already know, 15-year-old Victoria Mboko is a name worth watching as she continues to rake in the big junior results. But the young Canadian took a step further this week, reaching her first final on the senior ITF tour at the W25 event in Monastir, Tunisia.

As a wildcard competing in just her fifth senior event, Mboko started out by winning her first two matches in straight sets to reach her first ITF quarter-final. From there, she won back-to-back three setters to reach her first final.

In the final, she was beaten by the top seed Lin Zhu of China, a player nearly twice Mboko’s age, in three tight sets.

Steven Diez reached his first ATP Challenger quarter-final of 2022 last week in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He and Brayden Schnur are both competing at another Challenger event in Mexico this week, while Alexis Galarneau is playing in Savannah, Georgia.

Katherine Sebov had another strong result last week, reaching the semi-finals of the ITF event in Nottingham.

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.