Photo : Martin Sidorjak
As the calendar prepares to flip to October, Canadians can feel good about how September went.
Practically every week this month, there has been something positive to highlight in the world of Canadian tennis and last week was no exception with strong results at all levels of the professional game.
Here’s what you need to know.
In Case You Missed It: Guadalajara Will Do
The draw at the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara was not the deepest for an event of that tier, but the Canadians were more than happy to take advantage.
Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe picked up where they left off in New York, reaching their second final in a row but lost to top seed Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens.
Despite the loss, just by reaching the final Dabrowski kept her impressive streak of years with at least one WTA 1000 final alive. She has reached the title match at a 1000 event every year since 2017.
Leylah Annie Fernandez reached her third tour-level quarter-final of the season and first quarter-final ever at a WTA 1000 event, scoring three wins without dropping a set, including a second-round upset of 13th seed Mertens, before falling to former major champion Sofia Kenin in the last eight.
Eugenie Bouchard reached the second round where she lost a tight-three setter to seventh seed Veronika Kudermetova. Stacey Fung made her WTA Tour debut at the WTA 1000 event but lost in three sets in the first round to Marta Kostyuk, while Carol Zhao, who got into the draw by qualifying, also lost to Kenin.
Fernandez and Taylor Townsend were the second seeds in the doubles and reached the quarter-finals, where they lost 10-7 in the match tiebreak to Jasmine Paolini and Mayar Sheriff. Bouchard and partner Maria Navarro Oliva lost in the first round.
Maria Sakkari broke through to win the title, snapping a six-final losing streak, beating surprise finalist Caroline Dolehide who came into the week ranked 111 in the world.
The sixth edition of the Laver Cup took place last week on Canadian soil in Vancouver and featured home-favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime, who helped lead Team World to their second consecutive title. It was one of the most one-sided Laver Cup’s yet, with Team Europe managing just one match win when Casper Ruud beat Tommy Paul on day two.
For his part, Auger-Aliassime represented the home side well winning both of his matches: a straight-set singles win on day one over Gael Monfils and a doubles win on day two with Ben Shelton over Hubert Hurkacz and Monfils.
Milos Raonic also made it on court during an exhibition doubles match on the Sunday after Team World already clinched the victory. Raonic was selected by his former coach and Team World captain John McEnroe as an alternate and was put in alongside Christopher Eubanks for the final match of the weekend. They defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Arthur Fils 10-8 in the match tiebreak.
Roger Federer was also honoured during the event to mark one year since his retirement.
Rebecca Marino continued her early start to the Asian swing at the WTA 250 event in Guangzhou, China, but lost in the first round to Viktorija Golubic.
What to Watch: Return to Asia
The first proper Asian swing since 2019 really gets underway with all the events on tour taking place in the Far East.
Iga Swiatek leads a strong field at the WTA 500 event in Tokyo which also features Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari, and Caroline Garcia.
Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe are the top seeds in the doubles draw.
There is also a WTA 250 event in Ningbo, China where Ons Jabeur is the top seed. Rebecca Marino lost in qualifying.
It is a strange week on the ATP Tour as the Asian events began midway through last week and will finish on Tuesday. 250 events in Zhuhai and Chengdu, China both played their semifinals on Monday.
After those two tournaments end, two more will start midweek. The ATP 500 event in Beijing begins on Thursday, while the 250 in Astana, Kazakhstan starts on Wednesday. The draw has not been released for either event.
The draw in Beijing is expected to be loaded, featuring seven of the ATP’s Top 10 including Carlos Alcaraz. Felix Auger-Aliassime is also on the entry list.
Under the Radar: Stakusic, Galarneau In Form
Having only just won her first career title at the beginning of September, Marina Stakusic seems to have gotten a taste for winning.
The 18-year-old won her second professional singles title last week, this one even bigger as she claimed the W60 event in Berkeley, California. Stakusic did not drop a set on her way to the title.
Stakusic defeated countrywoman Victoria Mboko in the second round and upset top seed and defending champion Madison Brengle in the quarter-finals. She beat qualifier Allie Kiick in the title match.
Coming off his impressive performance for Canada the previous week at the Davis Cup, Alexis Galarneau kept the momentum going at the ATP Challenger event in Columbus, reaching the final without dropping a set before running out of gas against second seed Denis Kudla.
It has been a solid summer for the Laval native. The final in Columbus was his second ATP Challenger final in his last three appearances on the tour, having won his first Challenger title in July on home soil in Granby. The run got Galarneau back inside the Top 200 in the ATP rankings.
Vasek Pospisil also competed in Columbus, reaching the quarter-finals.
Galarneau and Pospisil are both competing again this week at a Challenger in Charleston, along with Davis Cup teammate Kelsey Stevenson as well as Benjamin Sigouin.
You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.