Erin Routliffe and Gabriela Dabrowski (right) hold their Nottingham trophies. Dabrowski and Bianca Andreescu both reached finals on grass.

Photo : LTA

If Gabriela Dabrowski and Bianca Andreescu were rusty on the grass last week, no one would have known based on their results. 

Both recently had extended layoffs and are just working their way back on tour, but in their first grass events of the season, they found themselves in finals, with the Ottawan getting her hands on the trophy. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

In Case You Missed It: Dabrowski Back with a Bang 

It was as if Gabriela Dabrowski had never been away. The Canadian doubles star was competing in her first event last week since reaching the Miami Open final in March, having skipped the entire clay-court season with an injury, at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham and walked away with her first title of 2024 with Erin Routliffe. 

The Canadian-Kiwi pair were the top seeds and played like it, dropping just nine games on their way to the final. There they had their hands full with Harriet Dart and Diane Parry, who pushed the US Open champions to the limit. But Dabrowski and Routliffe managed to squeak out the match tiebreak to claim the title with a 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 win. 

Their victory in Nottingham was their first since winning in Zhengzhou last October. It is the 16th title overall of Dabrowski’s career and third with Routliffe. It was also the Canadian’s first victory on grass since 2018. 

Over in s-Hertogenbosch, Bianca Andreescu shone at the Libema Open, reaching her first final of the year in just her second tournament back after nine months out with injury.  

On her way to the final, the former US Open champion beat sixth seed Yuan Yue before winning a thrilling quarter-final over four-time major champion Naomi Osaka. She reached her first final since 2022 with a straight-forward semifinal win over Dalma Galfi before losing a thrilling final to No. 2 seed Liudmila Samsonova

Joining the comeback club last week was Milos Raonic, who was competing in his first event since Indian Wells on the men’s side in s-Hertogenbosch. He reached the quarter-finals before falling to top seed and eventual champion Alex de Minaur

Denis Shapovalov was competing in Stuttgart but lost in the second round to eventual runner-up Matteo Berrettini. 

What to Watch: Historic Day for Raonic 

Milos Raonic is already off and running at the Queen’s Club, shocking local favourite Cameron Norrie in an epic first-round encounter where the Canadian even broke the record for most aces in a best-of-three match. 

Read also: Grass-Court Season Underway

It was a brilliant display of attacking grass tennis from the big-serving 2016 runner-up, as he ripped 70 winners and delivered 47 aces, the most ever in a best-of-three, on his way to taking out the former world No. 8 on his home soil. 

Raonic could play No. 4 seed Taylor Fritz in the second round. 

Leylah Annie Fernandez got her grass season underway this week at the WTA 250 event in Birmingham. She is seeded sixth easily defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo in round one.  

The Canadian No. 1 would face either Camila Osorio or Viktorija Golubic in round two, with No. 3 seed Sorana Cirstea her projected quarter-final opponent. She is in the bottom half of the draw with second seed Barbora Krejcikova. 

Read also: Carlos Alcaraz, A Man for All Surfaces

Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe are the second seeds in Birmingham behind Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens. They will face Greet Minnen and Heather Watson in the first round. 

Félix Auger-Aliassime contested his first match of the grass season on Monday in Halle, but retired in the second set of his match with Dominik Koepfer. 

Under the Radar: 

With the NCAA season having come to a close, Canadians who spent their winters playing in the American collegiate system are now starting to spend their time on the ITF circuit. 

Raphaelle Lacasse of the University of Nebraska joined the club of Canadian NCAA players scoring victories on the ITF tour, winning her first professional doubles title last week at the W15 event in Santo Domingo.  

Teaming up with Anna Carmen Zamburek of the Dominican Republic, Lacasse dropped just one set, that coming in the semifinals where she and Zamburek upset the top seeds, on her way to the title. 

On the men’s side at that same event, Canadians Juan Carlos Aguilar and Nicaise Muamba also reached the doubles final, but lost in straight sets. 

Cleeve Harper, who spent his collegiate career at the University of Texas, got to the final of the M25 event in Wichita Kansas with his school doubles partner Eliot Spizzirri but they fell 10-8 in the match tiebreak to second seeds Pranav Kumar and Joshua Sheehy. 

The ITF junior tour passed through Ottawa last week, with Victor Mayer lifting the boys doubles trophy for the host nation alongside his American partner Connor Plunkett. They beat the all-Canadian pair of Caden Colburne and Andy Tchinda Kepche 10-7 in the match tiebreak in the final. 

Down in Veracruz, Mexico, Emma Dong picked up her first title outside of Canada. As the top seed, she did not drop a set on her way to her third J100 title of the year and fourth ITF title overall. Each of her previous titles had come in her home country. 

A trio of Canadian Billie Jean King Cup players are competing this week at the W100 event in Ilkley, Great Britain, with Rebecca Marino, Marina Stakusic, and Carol Zhao all competing.  

There is also a large contingent of Canadians at an ITF event in Santa Fe, California. 

The ITF Wheelchair Tour makes a stop this week in Boucherville, Quebec. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.