Photo: Martin Sidorjak
Canada’s Davis Cup run is far from over as they advance to the quarter-final stage held in Malaga, Spain in November, while Canada doubles player Gabriela Dabrowski claims her second doubles title of the year, and tennis legend Roger Federer made a long-awaited announcement that he would be stepping back from professional tennis after the 2022 Laver Cup.
With that said, here is what’s to come in the week ahead and what you might have missed.
Watch this Week: Auger-Aliassime to feature in Laver Cup’s Team World
The fifth edition of the much-anticipated Laver Cup will take place this week at the O2 Arena in London, England, with Team Europe and Team World competing for the 2022 title. This event will be one to watch as it is 20-time Grand Slam Champion, Roger Federer’s last tournament of his career on tour. Federer announced his retirement mid-last week, with a heartfelt goodbye and an outpouring of love from everyone in the tennis world.
There will also be a familiar face at the event with Canada’s top ATP rank, Felix Auger-Aliassime (No. 13) representing Team World, competing alongside America’s Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, and Australian Alex De Minaur. John McEnroe will lead the team alongside his brother Patrick. They face a stacked, Team Europe, consisting of four former World No. 1 players on the ATP tour, Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray with two next-generation players Stefano Tsitsipas and Casper Rudd.
The Laver Cup first beginning in 2017, is comprised of five sessions held over three days from September 23 to 25, 2022.
There will also be Canadians featured at the Tennis Ohio Championships. Gabriel Diallo, Justin Boulais and Alexis Galarneau all in attendance.
In WTA events this week, the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan will take place with several big names in attendance. 2021 tournament Champion, Naomi Osaka will look to defend her crown against many stars who have had incredible runs this year on tour, including, Caroline Garcia, Qinwen Zheng, and National Bank Open presented by Roger’s finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia. In Canadian action, Gabriela Dabrowski alongside Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos, and Carol Zhao alongside Japan’s Nao Hibino, will appear in the doubles format. While Rebecca Marino and Eugenie Bouchard will be playing singles at the Hana Bank Korea Open.
In case you missed it: Davis Cup Round-up
The group stage of the Davis Cup Final by Rakuten came to end on Sunday, with some of the biggest players from around the world traveling to Bologna, Valencia, Glasgow, and Hamburg to compete for a spot in the knockout stage. The results of this weekend were teams from Spain, Italy, United States, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, and Croatia all rising to the occasion to appear in Malaga, Spain in November of this year.
Team Canada presented by Sobeys placed second in Group B had an outstanding run in Valencia with big performances by 22-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime and Davis Cup veteran Vasek Pospisil.
In the opening stage of the event, Canada defeated South Korea 2-1 in the head-to-head matchup. Vasek Pospisil showed up big in both of his matches for the team, defeating Seong-Chan Hong to claim the opening singles match, before pairing up alongside Felix Auger-Aliassime to pull together a win claiming their first team victory of the tournament.
The next opponent for the Canadians was against the host nation, Spain, including a much-anticipated matchup between Auger-Aliassime and newly crowned World No. 1, Carlos Alcaraz. The outcome of the head-to-head remained the same as South Korea with a 2-1 victory for the Canadians. Within the first singles match, Auger-Aliassime stunned the 2022 US Open champion, to take the match 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2. The No. 13 rank was in superb form, coming back from being down in the first set and dominating on his serve with 16 aces of the match.
In the doubles match, with no time for rest, Auger-Aliassime alongside Pospisil showed no sign of exhaustion defeating Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
In the final battle of the Group B stage, the Canadians faced Team Serbia with all members of the team participating. Gabriel Diallo played the first singles match, falling short to Laslo Djere 6-2, 6-2. In the second singles match Auger-Aliassime, was able to pull out a crucial win for the Canadians, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3,6-4. This victory from the Montreal native would secure Canada’s spot in the top eight. With Canada’s fate sealed, Pospisil and Alexis Galarneau battled in the final doubles match, however, they were forced to retire after Pospisil faced a knee injury in the first set.
In the end, Canada finished second in Group B, trailing behind Spain.
In other Davis Cup news, Italy (Group A), Germany (Group C), and the Netherlands (Group D) all had incredible runs throughout the tournament, sweeping all three of their opponents 3-0 to finish at the top of their respective tables. While Croatia (Group A), Australia (Group C), and the United States (Group D) trailed behind with 2-1 victories.
Dabrowski shines in Chennai, India
Canada’s top-ranked doubles player, Gabriela Dabrowski won her second title of the year at the Chennai Open alongside partner Luisa Stefani of Brazil. The pair reunited at the tournament for the first time since last summer and they did not disappoint.
As the tournament’s top seed, they rolled through their competition, not dropping a single set in all their matches played. In the championship final the pair defeated Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze 6-1, 6-2 to claim the WTA 250 title.
This marks Dabrowski’s second win of the season after claiming the Mutua Madrid Open title on clay this spring alongside Giuliana Olmos of Mexico. The Canadian now has 12 WTA doubles titles under her belt, including an additional two Grand Slam mixed doubles wins at 2018 Australian Open and the 2017 French Open.
Another Canadian who competed in the tournament was Eugenie Bouchard. Bouchard was on double duty in Chennai, reaching the singles quarter-final round and the doubles semi-finals, alongside Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium. Bouchard and Wickmayer had a strong run to the semi-finals to face Russian pair Anna Blinkova and Natela Dzalamidze. After a 6-3 defeat in the first set, Bouchard was forced to retire in the second set after an undisclosed injury.
Also in the tournament was Rebecca Marino and Carol Zhao. Marino continued her accomplished summer in singles, making it to the quarter-finals round at SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam falling short to Poland’s Magda Linette, while Zhao fell in the round of 16.
Under the Radar:
In ITF action last week, Canada’s Liam Draxl had a strong run as the No. 1 seed at the World Tennis Tour Cancun 2022, reaching the semi-finals, falling just short to the tournament’s Champion Tristan McCormick, 6-3, 7-5.
Within the quad category, North Bay native Rob Shaw defeated Koji Sugeno of Japan to claim the 2022 Birmingham Wheelchair Tennis Classic, winning his sixth title of the year. Shaw is quickly climbing the ITF ranking at No. 7 in wheelchair tennis.
You can keep up with all the Canadian action every week here.