Photo : Mauricio Paiz
The US Open was not as kind to Canada as it has been in the past, but there is still a chance for a Canadian to lift the trophy after an epic between two Billie Jean King Cup teammates on Tuesday.
Gabriela Dabrowski outlasted her young countrywoman Leylah Annie Fernandez in a wild women’s doubles quarter-final to reach the final four in New York City and now has her eyes on a first women’s doubles major trophy.
Here’s what you need to know.
In Case You Missed It: Doubles again the saving grace at a major
Doubles has generally been the stronger competition for the Canadians at majors in 2023 and the US Open showed that Canada has two of the best in the world.
Gabriela Dabrowski is the last Canadian standing at the US Open after she and Erin Routliffe beat Leylah Annie Fernandez and Taylor Townsend in a wild three-set quarter-final on Tuesday 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Fernandez and Townsend looked well on their way to victory when they cruised through the first set and then broke early in the second. But from 2-6, 0-2 down, Dabrowski and Routliffe flipped the script, winning 10 of the next 12 games to take the second set and go up a double break at 4-1 in the decider.
In classic Fernandez fashion, the match was far from over as she and Townsend re-found their game to reclaim both breaks and level the set at 4-4. Dabrowski then broke again and served for the match, only to be broken for 5-5.
In the end, a breaker was needed to separate the two pairs, which proved to be just as wild as the rest of the match. Fernandez and Townsend initially raced ahead to a 7-2 lead but with it being a 10-point tiebreak the window was still open for Dabrowski and Routliffe, who won six straight points to get back in the tiebreak.
Fernandez missed a routine backhand to hand a match point to her opponents at 9-8 on Dabrowski’s serve and they completed the comeback and Routliffe put away a stabbing volley.
Apart from the doubles, it was a tournament to forget for the Canadians as all four in the singles draws lost in the first round.
The biggest storyline in New York was the end of Iga Swiatek’s reign atop the WTA rankings. She was defeated in the round of sixteen by Jelena Ostapenko, which assured that her run will end after 75 weeks when the post-tournament rankings are released.
Aryna Sabalenka, who is still in the tournament, will ascend to the top spot for the first time in her career.
Sabalenka, Coco Gauff, and Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova were the only three Top 10 women to reach the quarter-finals.
Another notable result was Caroline Wozniacki, who reached the round of 16 in her first major appearance since the 2020 Australian Open.
While the men’s draw, particularly the bottom half, was full of upsets, the dream final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic remains on track. Alcaraz only dropped one set on his way to the quarter-finals, while Djokovic was the first player through to the semis with a win over Taylor Fritz earlier on Tuesday. The Serb did have to rally from two sets down in the third round against Laslo Djere.
Fritz was one of three American men to make the quarter-finals, the most at the US Open since 2005.
In the wheelchair competition, Rob Shaw dropped his opening match in the quad singles to Andy Lapthorne in three sets.
What to Watch: Maiden Women’s Doubles Major for Dabrowski?
Gabriela Dabrowski will look to reach her first women’s doubles Grand Slam final since 2019 when she takes on either third seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula or French Open champions Su-Wei Hsieh and Wang Xinyu in the semifinals.
The Canadian has won two majors before, both in mixed doubles. Her lone major women’s doubles final came at Wimbledon.
All eyes remain on Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic who are closing in on a potential Wimbledon rematch.
Alcaraz will play his quarter-final with 2020 US Open runner-up Alexander Zverev on Wednesday. The winner will face either 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev or first-time major semifinalist (if he advances) Andrey Rublev for a spot in the final.
Djokovic awaits the winner between Americans Frances Tiafoe and Ben Shelton.
The only two women left who have won a major could meet in the semifinals if Aryna Sabalenka and Marketa Vondrousova win their respective quarter-finals against Qinwen Zheng and Madison Keys.
Coco Gauff is already through to the semifinals and will face the winner between Roland-Garros runner-up Karolina Muchova and Sorana Cirstea.
Under the Radar: First Victory for Stakusic
After posting some solid results on the ITF circuit throughout the season, Marina Stakusic finally got her hands on a trophy last week, winning her first professional singles title at the W25 event in Valladolid, Spain.
The 18-year-old, who won her first doubles title last year in Saskatoon, was unseeded but got to the final without dropping a set, including a quarter-final win over fifth seed Alexandra Bozovic.
In the final, despite dropping her first set of the tournament in the first set, Stakusic showed no nerves as she rallied for a three-set victory over Anna Kubareva 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Stakusic made her WTA Tour debut and scored her first WTA Tour match win last summer at the WTA 250 event in Granby, Quebec.
You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.