Felix Auger Aliassime raises his fist after a win at Wimbledon

Photo : Mauricio Paiz/Tennis Canada

Must watch – Wimbledon first week

Seven Canadians in London

In this year’s Championships, no less than seven Canadians feature in the draws. On the men’s side, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov, who have both enjoyed good results so far on the European grass, are seeded No. 16 and No. 10 respectively. Auger-Aliassime has a 6-2 record on grass this year, while Shapovalov has one fewer win at 5-2.

The third Canadian in the men’s draw is 2014 Wimbledon doubles champion, Vasek Pospisil. The veteran from British Columbia has posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season at Eastbourne last week reaching the quarter-finals.

vasek pospisil winds up for a forehand at wimbledon 2019
Photo : Mauricio Paiz/Tennis Canada

On the women’s draw, Top Canadian player Bianca Andreescu is the No. 5 seed at Wimbledon. The Mississauga native will have a tough challenge right out of the gates against World No. 58 Alizé Cornet. The Frenchwoman just elimnated Andreescu in the second round of the Bett1Open in Berlin two weeks ago in two tough sets of 7-6(2), 7-5.

The up-and-coming Leylah Fernandez could meet Andreescu in an all-Canadian third-round clash, but she will also have a tough path before then. The Montrealer will have to take down last week’s Eastbourne champion, Jelena Ostapenko, and No. 31 seed Daria Kasatkina before she can play the World No. 7 Andreecu for the first time in a Grand Slam.

In doubles, No. 9 seed Sharon Fichman and Mexican partner Giuliana Olmos are looking for a deep run in a Grand Slam, while Gaby Dabrowski teamed up with Caroline Garcia of France. Daborwski and Garcia will face the No. 5 seed team from Japan, Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara.

Campaigns to watch

There are a few names to keep an eye on this week:

  • Novak Djokovic: the World No. 1 will try to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon back-to-back for the first time, tie Roger Fededer and Rafael Nadal’s record at 20 Grand Slam titles, and get one major title away from the Calendar Year Grand Slam, only achieved by Rod Laver and Steffi Graf in the Open era.
  • Serena Williams: only two matches away from her 100th match-win at Wimbledon, the 39-year-old American will try to tie Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam titles, the most of all time (Serena already holds the Open Era record with 23.)
  • Roger Federer: the Swiss is still struggling to find his best form after being out of competition for over a year. He lost to Auger-Aliassime in the second round at Halle two weeks ago, but has been transparent about Wimbledon being his ultimate goal this season. Should he win at SW19, Federer will once again stand alone with the most Grand Slam titles by a male player ever, and would also tie Martina Navratilova’s record of nine Wimbledon titles.
Novak Djokovic lifts the wimbledon trophy on court
Photo : Tennis Photo Network

In case you missed it – Medvedev, Kerber win

In the last grass-court tournaments before the year’s third Gand Slam, a few promising players left a warning before the England major.

At the Bad Homburg Open presented by Engel & Volkers, former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber showed signs of the form that led her to the Wimbledon title in 2018. Being dominant in the first rounds, the German overcame the challenge of World No. 11 Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals before going on to win the title. Kerber is a player to watch in this year’s All England Club tournament.

The men’s World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev seems to have found more joy on grass than on the dirt. With a powerful serve, incredible defensive skills, and a touch of unorthodox choices in his game, Medvedev overpowered his competition and took his first-ever grass-court title in Mallorca last week. The Russian has another chance at snatching the World No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic with a title at Wimbledon.

Two dark-horse players also emerged victorious last week: Alex de Minaur and Jelena Ostapenko won the singles tiles in Eastbourne, and will be tough opponents to beat. While de Minaur is the No. 15 seed, Ostapenko, the 2017 Roland Garros champion will be unseeded thi week, having fallen to World No. 34 from a career-high of No. 5 in 2018.

Under the radar

Carol Zhao seeded in Poland

In her comeback season, Carol Zhao has compiled an 18-10 record, climbed nearly 200 ranking spots and reached two finals. Her efforts are paying off, and she will be seeded in Wroclaw, Poland, for this week’s ITF 25k event.

Liam Draxl, NCAA star poised to qualify

The NCAA No. 1 Liam Draxl wil try to transfer his good results from college tennis to the professional tour as he plays for a place in the ITF 15k main draw in Weston, Florida, this week. As the No. 3 seeded player, he is one of the favourites to book his place in the tournament.

draxl forehand shot
Photo : Manuela Davies

The best way to follow all Canadian players at every level, every week, is by checking the Canadians in Action page. Check all the draws in one place, and see how Canadian players are doing.