Vasek Pospisil pumps his fist.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

The titles were so close Canadian fans could taste them.

But bad strokes of luck mean that we will have to wait another week for a chance at a first title of 2023.

This week, the post-Australian Open period on tour picks up with most of Canada’s stars taking to the court.

Here’s what you need to know.

In Case You Missed It: Another Bump for Bibi

Just when it looks like everything is coming up Bianca, the injury bug just won’t leave Andreescu alone.

The Canadian reached the semifinals of the Thailand Open as the top seed last week without dropping a set and looked primed to claim her first title since 2019, only for the injury bug to strike.

In her semifinal clash against Lesia Tsurenko, she received treatment on her neck and shoulder area and ended up retiring from the match down a set and a break.

However, the injury does not appear to be serious as she is playing again this week. Just by reaching the semis, Andreescu moved ahead of Leylah Annie Fernandez in the WTA Rankings to reclaim the Canadian No. 1 spot.

The other event on the WTA Tour last week saw a surprising upset in the final as world No. 5 Caroline Garcia was stunned on home soil in Lyon in the final by 79th-ranked Alycia Parks, who claimed her first title.

Both champions on the WTA Tour last week were first-time winners.

There were no tour events for the men last week. Instead the focus was on the Davis Cup qualifying round where 12 teams booked their spots in September’s group stage.

Some of the highlights included Stan Wawrinka playing hero for Switzerland, backing up Marc-Andrea Huesler’s upset of Alexander Zverev to lead Switzerland past Germany in the fifth and deciding rubber. South Korea mounted a dramatic 0-2 comeback to defeat Belgium in five.

Croatia, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Serbia, Sweden, Chile, Finland, the Netherlands, and Czechia were the other nations booking their place in the Davis Cup Finals later this year.

Canada qualified automatically for the Group Stage just by reaching the 2022 final and did not have to play last weekend. Australia, Spain and Italy also already had their spots assured.

*(Year-to-date titles/career titles)

What to Watch: Denis in Dallas, Top Three in Abu Dhabi

Four Canadians are playing on the main tours with week (with another one still alive in qualifying), lead by a trio at the WTA 500 event in Abu Dhabi.

Canada’s Top Three women, Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Annie Fernandez, and Rebecca Marino, are all competing this week in Abu Dhabi.

Fernandez and Marino had to come through qualifying to get into the main draw, but both eased in without dropping a set. It is both of their first events since the Australian Open.

Andreescu will look to heal quickly for the injury that ailed her in Thailand before her first match against Yulia Putintseva. She could meet sixth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round and is in the same quarter as Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina.

Fernandez opens against Shelby Rogers. She would meet seventh seed Anett Kontaveit in the second round and could play No. 2 seed Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals.

Marino faces a stiff first-round challenge in the form of rising Chinese star Qinwen Zheng. It would not get any easier in round two with either Danielle Collins or Jelena Ostapenko looming ahead of a potential quarter-final with top seed Daria Kasatkina.

Denis Shapovalov is the lone Canadian man in the main draw on the ATP Tour. He is the third seed at the ATP 250 Dallas Open. He has a first-round bye and will play either Michael Mmoh or Yibing Wu in the second round.

He is in the same quarter as No. 8 seed Adrian Mannarino and is in the top half of the draw with top seed Taylor Fritz. Frances Tiafoe is the second seed.

Gabriel Diallo has a chance to join Shapovalov in the main draw in Dallas, as he is still alive in qualifying. He plays American Brandon Holt on Monday with a spot in the main draw on the line.

If Diallo gets in, it would be his first time qualifying for an ATP Tour event. His lone tour-level match in his career came at the Davis Cup last September.

Under the Radar: Near-Perfect Rebound for Pospisil

A week after stumbling in his title defence at the ATP Challenger event in Quimper, France, Vasek Pospisil nearly made up for it by reaching the final at another Challenger event in Koblenz, Germany.

The third-seeded Canadian did not drop a set on his way to the title match, but there he was beaten by the second seed Roman Safiullin.

Carol Zhao competed in the first WTA 125 event of the year last week in Cali, Colombia, but lost in the first round to Emiliana Arango.

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.