Marina Stakusic hits a backhand. She is competing in San Diego this week.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

2023 ended with a bang for Marina Stakusic. Her heroics at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals launched her into the spotlight, leaving fans excited to see what she had to offer in 2024. 

It took nearly two months for the youngster to make her debut this year, but when she did it was the start many were hoping for. 

Here’s what you need to know in this mid-week Digest. 

What to Watch: Welcome Back, Marina 

Marina Stakusic burst onto the scene with three wins in four matches to help guide Team Canada presented by Sobeys to the Billie Jean King Cup title last November, with the words “A Star is Born” plastered all over the media and internet. The question was then “what’s next for Marina Stakusic?” 

The 19-year-old is competing in her first event since the Billie Jean King Cup Finals this week at the WTA 500 event in San Diego. She already has three wins under her belt, claiming a pair of qualifying matches to get into the main draw and then defeating another Marina, Marina Melnikova, in three sets for her first main draw win at a WTA Tour event since Granby in 2022 and her first ever at the 500 level. 

Read also: Stakusic Dazzles in Billie Jean King Cup Debut

Next up for Stakusic is No. 7 seed Donna Vekic. 

Leylah Annie Fernandez was also competing in San Diego, but after winning the first set of her first-round match against Tatjana Maria in a tiebreak, she retired down 4-0 in the second set with a shoulder injury. 

It was a short week for the Canadian men, as both Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov lost in the first round from a set up at their respective ATP 500 events.  

Auger-Aliassime lost his opener in Acapulco in three sets to Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli while Shapovalov lost to Andy Murray in Dubai. 

Rebecca Marino was competing at the WTA 250 event in Austin but lost her first-round match to Sachia Vickery. 

Click here for more news from the tours.

In Case You Missed It: Dabrowski Comes Close in Dubai 

Gabriela Dabrowski made yet another deep run at a big event last week at the WTA 1000 event in Dubai, reaching the semifinals of the doubles with Erin Routliffe.  

The US Open champions reached their fifth semifinal in the last seven events at the WTA 1000/Grand Slam/WTA Finals level, avenging their Australian Open semifinal loss to Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko in the quarters before falling in the final four to the eventual champions Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova. 

Losing to the eventual champion was a common theme for the Canadian women in Dubai. Leylah Annie Fernandez was beaten in the second round of the singles by eventual champion Jasmine Paolini. Fernandez had beaten Bernard Pera in straight sets in the first round. 

Under the Radar: Victory for Sigouin 

For the third week in a row, a Canadian was victorious on the ITF World Tour. 

This week, it was on the men’s side as Benjamin Sigouin won his fifth ITF doubles title, lifting the trophy at the M25 event in Naples, Florida with Mac Kiger.  

The best Canadian result from a woman came in Mexico, where Stacey Fung reached the quarter-finals of a W50 event in Mexico City. 

Photo : @CarolinaTennis

Canadians saw some success on the junior circuit last week, with one title and one runner-up performance. 

At the J30 in the Baja California, Mexico, Antoine Genereux and Andy Tchinda Kepche won the title against a home-favourite pair. At a J60 event in Oslo, Norway, Anastasia Malysheva and Andrea Taylor reached the final, where they lost in straight sets. 

This week, it is a slightly quieter week with only a few Canadians competing on the lower circuits. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.