Leylah Fernandez high-fives a teammate after Canada won at the United Cup.

Photo : AP

With one of, if not THE, shortest offseasons in professional sports, tennis fans never have to wait long to see their favourites back on court.

The 2024 season is officially underway, with the first balls actually being struck at the end of 2023, and the Canadians already have their eyes on the prize.

Here is what you need to know.

What to Watch: Canada Eyes Another Title

After winning the ATP Cup and Davis Cup in 2022 and Billie Jean King Cup in 2023, Canada will look to win a team title for the third year in a row this week as the nation makes its debut at the United Cup.

Leylah Annie Fernandez and Steven Diez already got Canada off to a winning start, defeating Chile in their first group-stage match on Sunday. They face Greece, featuring Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari, in their second tie with a chance to win Sydney Group B and advance to the quarter-finals, although the best runner-up in the group stage also advances.

The Canadian squad consists of Fernandez, Diez, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Stacey Fung, and Adil Shamasdin. It is the first appearance for Canada at the United Cup after missing the inaugural edition in 2022. 18 teams overall are competing.

In Case You Missed It: Slow Starts

A few Canadians competed in their first events of the season in the first week of the year, some even playing matches before the calendar flipped.

Carol Zhao was the lone Canadian competing in a main tour event other than the United Cup. She lost in the first round of qualifying at the WTA 250 event in Auckland, New Zealand, to Himeno Sakatsume.

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Rebecca Marino and Katherine Sebov both qualified for the main draw of the WTA 125 event in Canberra, Australia, but lost in the first round to Erika Andreeva and second seed Nao Hibino respectively.

Under the Radar: Diallo Off and Running

Gabriel Diallo is a player to watch in 2024 after making big progress last year.

The 22-year-old from Montreal is competing at the ATP Challenger event in Canberra this week and won his opening match against Juan Manuel Cerundolo in a three-set comeback. He faces qualifier Rudolf Molleker in the second round.

On the ITF circuit, Carson Branstine will look to carry her strong finish in 2023 into the new year as she competes at a W35 event in Arcadia, California.

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here