Photo : Roland Garros
Must Watch this week: Federer at Halle
10-time Noventi Open champion Federer goes back to Halle, Germany after a fourth round showing at Roland Garros. The 39-year-old, who just won back-to-back matches for the first time this year in Paris, is confident his game is where it needs to be to win titles. He will be defending his title from 2019 in Halle, as the tournament was not held in 2020.
Federer’s main goal remains a record ninth title at Wimbledon, which starts on June 28.
Félix has no time to waste
Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime is coming back on court immediately after reaching a final last week in Stuttgart. The World No. 21 will have a mountain-size task in front of him if he is to win his maiden ATP title, with Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, and Daniil Medvedev all in his half of the draw. Should Auger-Aliassime win his opening match against his doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz, he will face Federer in the second round.
After withdrawing from Roland Garros due to injury, Denis Shapovalov turned his focus entirely to the grass season. He played last week at Stuttgart, where he lost to eventual champion Marin Cilic, and this week he is back as the No. 2 seed at the cinch Championships at the London Queen’s Club. Should Shapovalov get through the first round, he will face former champion Feliciano Lopez.
Bett1Open: a packed field
The WTA tournament of the week will without a doubt be the Bett1Open in Berlin. With four Top 10 players in the draw, this will be another week of epic matches for the women, who are in the beginning of a stellar era with many players who can challenge for the biggest titles and highest rankings.
The four Top 10 players are: World No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 6 Elina Svitolina, No. 7 Bianca Andreescu, and No. 10 Karolina Pliskova. Canadian fans will have all eyes on Bianca Andreescu, who has had a challenging season so far. Despite no serious injuries, complications have prevented her from competing in most of the clay season, which took its toll in a tough first round loss at Roland Garros to eventual semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek.
Leylah Fernandez hits the grass
At the Viking Classic Birmingham, Montreal’s Leylah Fernandez will try to keep her good form of this year, which saw her lift her first ever WTA trophy in Monterrey. The Canadian will open her campaign against qualifier Yafan Wang, and could face No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur in the second round.
In case you missed it: Djokovic new King at Roland Garros
In a historic tournament, Novak Djokovic continued to rewrite the history books, this time with one of his most impressive accomplishments: a second title at Roland Garros. The Serb now holds the so-called Double Career Grand Slam, winning every major title at least twice. On top of that, Djokovic is now only one grand slam title away from tying the record of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most major titles at 20.
Nadal first ever loss at Roland Garros semi-final
The match of the tournament was certainly the Friday semi-final between Nadal and Djokovic. With a level beyond the expectations of any tennis observer, the titanic rivalry resumed on a court that the Spaniard dominated for more than a decade.
With a slow start that left fans with a déjà vu of the 2020 final, Djokovic managed to avoid the bagel despite a 5-0 deficit in the first set. The match reached its climax in a scintillating third set where both players refused to give up and kept raising their games to unbelievable heights, before the World No. 1 clinched his most important win, 3-6 6-3 7-6(4) 6-2.
Krejcikova’s double double
For a seventh consecutive year, Roland Garros has a new champion on the women’s side. In sharp contrast with the men’s tournament, where Nadal dominated the tournament like no other player has ever done, no woman has been able to defend her title in Paris since Justine Henin won her third-straight title in 2007.
However, the quality of the matches has not suffered. Barbora Krejcikova, who had enjoyed an already great season prior to the Grand Slam, won fantastic battles against some of the best players on the WTA, and deservedly lifted not only the singles trophy, but also the doubles one alongside Katerina Siniakova.
In one of the best matches of the entire fortnight, Krejcikova saw off Iga Swiatek’s conqueror, No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari, in an epic encounter that ended 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 for the Czech. Krejcikova saved a match-point en route to securing a place in the final, where she also fought hard to beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.
Under the Radar
Summer is the tennis season. And as such, many Canadians are playing in as many tournaments as they can. Some are trying to boost their rankings in challengers like Steven Diez and Brayden Schnur, while others are still on the comeback road to their highest level, such as Carol Zhao, who has shown incredible fight and fitness to reach several finals already this year in professional tournaments.
Many junior players are also showing great results and drawing attention for their talent. You can see where Canadians of all levels of competition are playing this week here.