Denis Shapovalov pumps his fist. He and Leylah Fernandez are playing warm-up events ahead of Paris.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

The first balls at Roland-Garros have already been struck with qualifying underway, but Leylah Annie Fernandez and Denis Shapovalov have some business to attend to before landing in Paris. 

This week provides one last chance for players to find some form ahead of the clay-court major and those two Canadians will be looking to pick up some confidence-boosting wins. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

In Case You Missed It: One and Done in Rome 

Most of the Canadians were eliminated in the first week of the BNL Internazionali d’Italia in Rome, with only Leylah Fernandez getting through in the women’s doubles. 

However, her stay in Rome did not extend far into the second week as she and Aranxta Rus were soundly beaten in the second round by sixth seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko. 

What to Watch: Pre-RG Prep for Shapovalov, Fernandez 

With Roland-Garros fast approaching, Denis Shapovalov and Leylah Annie Fernandez are both getting in some last-minute preparation ahead of the Grand Slam event in Paris. 

Shapovalov is competing this week in Geneva and won his opening match on Tuesday over Frederico Coria. Next up for the Canadian is a clash with No. 6 seed Tallon Griekspoor. A win could set up a clash in the quarter-finals with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. 

Fernandez got her campaign at the WTA 500 event in Strasbourg underway with a comeback win over Anastasia Potapova. She faces fifth seed Liumdila Samsonova on Tuesday. 

With a win, she would face either No. 2 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia or Emma Navarro in the quarter-finals. 

Bianca Andreescu was going to make her long-awaited return to the tour this week in Rabat but withdrew. She is expected to play next week at Roland-Garros. 

Qualifying for the second major of the year is underway in Paris and of the five Canadians who entered the event, four still have a chance to reach the main draw in Paris. 

There are three Canadian women competing in qualies. So far only Rebecca Marino has played her opening match, beating Marina Capurro Taborda in straight sets. She faces Lucija Ciric Bagaric in the second round. 

Both Marina Stakusic and Carol Zhao open their qualifying campaigns on Tuesday.

Read also: Tennis Canada to celebrate June as first-ever Tennis Month in Canada

Gabriel Diallo got his bid underway with a gritty win over Genaro Alberto Olivieri. He will face another Argentine, Marco Trungelliti, in the second round. Alexis Galarneau lost in the opening round of qualifying to Quentin Halys.  

Under the Radar: Double Delight for Cross, Venos 

Two Canadians were victorious on the ITF circuits last week, with Kayla Cross and Thomas Venos both picking up doubles titles. 

Cross won the W35 event in Bethany Beach alongside American Jaeda Daniel. The pair were seeded second and dropped just one set on their way to the title, which they claimed with a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory over an all-American team in the final. 

Photo : Kayla Cross

The victory in Delware is the third ITF doubles triumph of Cross’ career, but the first outside of Canada. Her previous wins were at W25 events in Edmonton and Saskatoon. She also reached the singles semifinals in Bethany Beach, losing to the eventual champion Kajsa Rinaldo Persson of Sweden in three sets. 

Venos continued his recent run of good form with his third ITF wheelchair doubles title of the season at the 27e Tournoi Bulle Indoors in Switzerland alongside Andrew Penney. It is the first time in Venos’ career that he has won three titles in a season. 

Seeded second, Venos and Penny did not drop a set on their way to the final and then took the opening set of the title match 7-5 before their opponents retired. 

Read also: Rising star Joni Colburne joins the U15 Prospect Team camp in hometown Halifax

The Canadian will look to keep the good times rolling at another ITF event this week in Padova, Italy along with Mitch McIntyre. Rob Shaw also returns to the ITF wheelchair tour for the first time since winning the Japan Open in early April. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.