Rebecca Marino holds up the Ilkley trophy, her first title on grass. She is playing qualifying at Wimbledon this week.

Photo : ITF

Rebecca Marino picked the perfect time to find her best level on grass with qualifying for Wimbledon taking place this week.  

The Canadian veteran scored her first title on grass last week and will now look to carry that momentum down to the All England Club. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Under the Radar: Marino Coming In Hot 

Rebecca Marino will arrive at the All England Club full of confidence this week after picking up her first career title on grass at the ITF W100 event in Ilkley, United Kingdom. 

The big-serving Canadian battled through the draw, opening with a three-set upset of the fourth seed McCartney Kessler, taking down No. 5 seed Daria Snigur in the quarter-finals, and then capping it off with back-to-back three-setters, including a comeback win in the final over Jessika Ponchet. 

Rebecca Marino kneels on the grass court at Ilkley behind the trophy. She plays this week in qualifying at Wimbledon.
Photo : @jackgraay

Earlier this season, Marino won the biggest title of her career at the W100 event in Irapuato, Mexico. She has now won two titles at that level in the same season. Overall, the Canadian has 15 ITF singles titles to her name. 

Marina Stakusic also competed in Ilkley and reached the quarter-finals. 

Read also: The Wonders of Grass-Court Tennis

Cadence Brace was also a winner on the ITF Tour last week, claiming the first title of her career at the W35 event in Wichita, Kansas. 

Seeded eighth, Brace was dialled in and did not drop a set on her way to the final. There she upset top seed Victoria Hu in three sets to claim her first trophy on the ITF circuit. 

Photo : @cadencebrace

Two Canadians who spent their school years playing in the NCAA, Cleeve Harper and Jessica Alsola, have been making a smooth transition to the pro circuit, both reaching ITF doubles finals last week. 

The ITF Wheelchair Circuit made a stop in Boucherville, Quebec last week for the Sani Sport International Open. 

Read also: Andreescu Reaches First Final Since 2022, Fernandez Set for Grass

Thomas Venos reached both the men’s singles and doubles finals, winning the latter with American Conner Stroud over fellow Canadian Barry Henderson and his Spanish partner Francesc Tur. 

With the win, Venos is up to four ITF doubles titles in 2024. He lost to his doubles partner in the singles final. 

Natalia Lanucha won the women’s singles event, which took the form of a round robin, winning all three of her matches and four out of five sets (she received one walkover). 

Abroad, Anne-Marie Dolinar reached the doubles final at an ITF Wheelchair event in Alghero, Italy, but was defeated.  

In Case You Missed It: Fernandez Makes 2024 Grass Debut 

Leylah Annie Fernandez was the last of the Canadians inside the Top 200 to get her 2024 grass season underway. She did so last week at the WTA 250 event in Birmingham where she reached the quarter-finals.  

After wins over Sara Sorribes Tormo and Viktorija Golubic, she was surprised in the last eight by eventual runner-up Ajla Tomljanovic.  

Milos Raonic competed last week at the Queen’s Club, making history in round one with a 47-ace performance against Cameron Norrie, the most aces ever in a best-of-three match. He was beaten in the second round by fourth seed Taylor Fritz.  

What to Watch: Five Canadians in Qualies at the AELTC 

The main draw for the 2024 Wimbledon Championships will be announced on Friday morning, but in the meantime, five Canadians will be looking to get their names onto the draw board at the third major of the season. 

Gabriel Diallo, who qualified for his first Grand Slam event last month at Roland-Garros, and Alexis Galarneau have already taken the first step towards making their main draw debuts at the All England Club. Both won their opening qualifying matches in three sets on Monday.  

Both will face seeds in the second round. Diallo will face off against No. 8 Daniel Galan, while Galarneau takes on former world No. 7 Richard Gasquet, seeded 20th in qualifying. 

On the women’s side, Rebecca Marino will be hoping to bring the momentum down from Ilkley to London as she leads the Canadian women’s contingent. Her first qualifying match will be a rematch of her first-rounder at last week’s ITF event against McCartney Kessler.  

Marino is in the same qualifying section as No. 3 seed Renata Zarazua, a potential opponent in the final round of qualifying. 

Read also: A New British Hope at Wimbledon

Carol Zhao will open her qualifying campaign against Anastasia Tikhonova and could play No. 9 seed Anna Bondar in the second round. 

Marina Stakusic is the lone Canadian woman to have already won her first-round match, dropping just a game against Carole Monnet. The youngster will face 16th seed Chloe Paquet in round two. 

On the main tour this week, Leylah Annie Fernandez caused an upset on day one at the WTA 250 event in Eastbourne, surprising former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in three sets. 

Next up for the Canadian is Ashlyn Kruger, with either Sofia Kenin or Harriet Dart awaiting in the quarter-finals. Madison Keys is her projected semifinal opponent, with world No. 5 Jessica Pegula a possible finals opponent. 

Read also: Shaw Builds Momentum with Paralympics in Sight

Krejcikova did get her revenge on Fernandez in the doubles, winning their first-round clash in straight sets.

Gabriela Dabrowski is also back at it in Eastbourne. She and Erin Routliffe are the top seeds and already won their opening match over Miriam Kolodziejova and Anna Siskova in straight sets. Next up will be Guo Hanyu and Jiang Xinyu in the quarter-finals. 

Bianca Andreescu was competing in Bad Homburg but lost in the first round to Anna Blinkova. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.