Felix Auger-Aliassime hits a forehand during practice while Toni Nadal watches

Photo : @felixtennis/Twitter

It’s here.

Everything that has happened on the ATP and WTA tours over the last eight weeks has been leading up to the upcoming fortnight and the season’s second major, the French Open.

Main draw play got underway on Sunday in Paris as the world’s best, including three Canadians in the singles draws, look to etch their names in the history books.

In this week’s Monday digest, we look back at the final warm-up events and ahead to the first week of the French Open.


Roland Garros

The world’s best descend on Paris this week for the French Open, including a trio of Canadians in the singles draws.

Both Canadian women, Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez, were given early starts at the event but have already had differing results.

Andreescu was the sixth seed but was upset in her opening match by Tamara Zidansek on Monday morning.

Fernandez got her tournament underway on Sunday afternoon and easily advanced to the second round with a straight sets win. The 18-year-old had her best run at a major at last year’s French Open, reaching the third round.

On the men’s side, Félix Auger-Aliassime is the lone Canadian representative after both Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic withdrew with injuries. Auger-Aliassime has struggled so far in the clay court season, going 4-5. However, he has reached the fourth round at two of the last three majors.

This will be Auger-Aliassime’s first Grand Slam event with Toni Nadal, who coached his nephew Rafael to 10 titles in Paris, as his coach.

Photo : Julien Crosnier/FFT

The women’s doubles draw features three Canadians, including an all-Canadian pair of Fernandez and Gabriela Dabrowski. Dabrowski won the 2017 French Open mixed doubles title.

Sharon Fichman will look to keep her good form going alongside Giuliana Olmos. The pair surprised the world by winning the Italian Open earlier in May and are seeded ninth in Paris. They also reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in the season’s first major.


Strasburg WTA

All eyes were on Andreescu making her much-anticipated return to the WTA Tour this week in Strasburg. The Canadian was competing for the first time since retiring from the Miami final in early April and contesting her first clay court matches since the 2019 French Open.

The Canadian showed little rust in her two matches, winning both in straight sets losing a combined eight games.

However, she ended up withdrawing from the tournament before her quarter-final match with Sorana Cirstea, citing an abdominal injury. The withdrawal was likely precautionary leading up to the French Open.

Cirstea went on to reach the final, where she lost to Barbora Krejcikova. It is the first title of Krejcikova’s career.

Belgrade ATP

After being upset the first time around in Belgrade, there was no way Djokovic was losing twice on home soil.

The world number one claimed his 83rd career title last week over qualifier Alex Molcan in straight sets. Djokovic’s third title in his home nation came a full decade after his second.

It was not all smooth sailing for Djokovic, who needed three sets to put away Andrej Martin in the semi-finals.

This was the first time since 2017 that the 18-time Grand Slam champion played a event the week before a major. The last time he did it, he won Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon, only to go out in the quarter-finals at the All England Club.

Apart from Djokovic, Molcan was the big story of the week, reaching his first ATP final in just his third main tour event. The Slovakian had never won a main draw match on the ATP tour prior to last week.

Parma ATP

American young gun Sebastien Korda won his first career title last week at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy.

The win made Korda the first America to win a title on European red clay in over a decade (Sam Querrey in 2010). He defeated former French Open semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato in straight sets in the final.

Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr Korda, took out top seed Lorenzo Sonego in the second round. He also ousted countryman Tommy Paul in the semifinals, the lone seed to reach the last four. Korda won the title without dropping a set.


While the professionals are duking it out for a major title, tennis’ future stars will also be seeking glory in the junior draws at the French Open.

Annabelle Xu is Canada’s lone representative in the junior singles. Xu will look to join Leylah Fernandez as the only Canadians to ever win the French Open junior title. Félix Auger-Aliassime was the runner-up in 2016.

17-year-old Xu is currently No. 68 in the ITF Junior girls rankings and picked up a junior title earlier this year in San Jose, her third junior title.

Find out where you can follow the action this week at Roland Garros here.