Photo : Pascal Ratthe
The triumphant Davis Cup homecoming for Team Canada presented by Sobeys’ was the highlight of what ended up being a big week for the Canadian men, as Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov both took steps forward on the ATP Tour.
With the Davis Cup qualifiers now in the rearview mirror, the focus shifts back to the main tours this week.
Here’s what you need to know.
In Case You Missed It: Canada’s Winning Return
Canadian fans had to wait over five years to watch Team Canada compete on home soil in the Davis Cup, but they likely were not disappointed with what they got in Montreal this past week.
Team Canada defeated the Republic of Korea 3-1 in their qualifier tie to advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September thanks largely to two singles wins by the hometown hero Gabriel Diallo.
Day one went about as well as could be hoped for when Canada won both singles matches in straight sets, although they were tricky straight-set wins for Diallo and Vasek Pospisil.
Things got a little nervy on day two when Alexis Galarneau and Pospisil dropped the doubles match that could have sealed the tie and then Diallo let a set and a break lead slip away in the next singles match. But the Montrealer refound his game in time to grab a three-set win and clinch the tie.
Canada will play in the Finals for the fifth “consecutive” year (2020 was cancelled). Their next opponents and venue have yet to be announced.
On the ATP Tour, Félix Auger-Aliassime had his best result of the season so far, reaching the semifinals of the ATP 250 event in Montpellier. There he lost to the eventual champion Alexander Bublik, who had saved three match points in a round-two epic against Denis Shapovalov.
Shapovalov had won his first match since Wimbledon last July when he beat Hugo Gaston 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.
What to Watch: Third Time’s the Charm for Auger-Aliassime?
Félix Auger-Aliassime will look to build on his performance on the indoor hard courts of southern France this week as he moves down the coast from Montpellier to Marseille. The Canadian has reached the final twice before at this event, both in even-numbered years so he’s due in 2024, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev respectively.
This week, Auger-Aliassime is the seventh seed and opens against local wildcard Quentin Halys. The Canadian could play No. 3 seed Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals and is in the bottom half of the draw with No. 2 seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Denis Shapovalov joins his countryman in Marseille and will have a rematch of his Montpellier opener with Hugo Gaston in the first round. A win would set up a clash with fourth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert. He could meet No. 5 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-finals and top seed Hubert Hurkacz in the semis.
Under the Radar:
Kelsey Stevenson came agonizingly close to winning his first ITF doubles title since 2022 last week at the M25 event in Hammamet, Tunisia. The Canadian and his German partner Adrian Oetzbach lost 10-7 in the match tiebreak in the final to Corentin Denolly and Filip Cristian Jianu.
The best Canadian singles result on the ITF Tour last weekend came in Rome, USA, where Stacey Fung lost in the quarter-finals to eventual runner-up Live Hovde.
This week, Rebecca Marino will play her first event since the Australian Open at the ITF W100 Irapuato, Mexico alongside countrywomen Fung and Carol Zhao. There is also a quintet of Canadian women competing at the W35 in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.