Photo : Martin Sidorjak
After some close calls at the year’s first major, all eyes will be on Team Canada presented by Sobeys as they are back on home soil for the first time in over five years this week for the Davis Cup qualifying round.
It’s a busy stretch right now for the Canadians between the Australian Open and Davis Cup, as well as action on the ATP and ITF tours.
Here’s what you need to know.
In Case You Missed It: Dabrowski, Shaw Last Canadians Standing in Melbourne
Three Canadians made it to week two of the 2024 Australian Open, but the nation’s bid to have at least one finalist in four consecutive majors fell just short.
Gabriela Dabrowski had her eyes on a second consecutive major and reached the semifinals of the women’s doubles in Melbourne, but she and Erin Routliffe were knocked out in the final four by the 11th seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko in two tight sets.
In the mixed doubles, Dabrowski and partner Nathaniel Lammons were beaten in the quarter-finals by local wildcards Olivia Gadecki and Marc Polmans.
Read Also: Singles Swept Aside at Australian Open
On the same day Dabrowski and Routliffe went down, Rob Shaw saw his bid to finally reach the Australian Open final end as he and partner Heath Davidson were beaten in the quad wheelchair semis by eventual champions Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner.
Shaw also reached the quarter-finals of the quad singles, winning a singles match at a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career.
Lastly, Keegan Rice was the lone Canadian competing in the junior draws. He reached the quarter-finals of a junior major for the first time in his career in the doubles, where he and his American partner Roy Horovitz lost to the eventual champions Maxwell Exsted and Cooper Woestendiok.
Rice lost in the second round of the boys singles.
What to Watch: Davis Cup Returns to Canada
It’s a busy week for the Canadian men at the highest levels of men’s tennis.
Davis Cup returns to Canada for the first time since 2018 this week as Canada hosts South Korea in the qualifying round with a spot in the Finals Group Stage on the line.
The best-of-five tie will take place on Friday and Saturday at IGA Stadium in Montreal. There will be two singles matches on Friday followed on Saturday by a doubles and up to more two singles matches.
Team Canada presented by Sobeys is composed of Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, and Liam Draxl. They are captained by Frank Dancevic.
There is one event on the ATP Tour this week and it also is of interest to Canadian fans with both Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov competing at the 250 event in Montpellier, France.
Auger-Aliassime is the third seed and has a bye. He will face either Arthur Cazaux or Maximilian Marterer in his opening match. He could face No. 5 seed Andy Murray in the quarter-finals and No. 2 seed Alexander Bublik in the semis.
Shapovalov faces Hugo Gaston in round one and would play Bublik if he wins.
Under the Radar: The Queen of Monastir
If Carson Branstine were commissioner of tennis, a logical move for her would be to make every event on tour take place in Monastir, Tunisia.
The 23-year-old won her fourth ITF title last week and third in Monastir in the last four months, having won two W15s there last November. This victory is also the biggest title of her career as this Monastir event was a W35.
Branstine won the event as a qualifier, winning eight total matches on her way to the title. After winning three to get into the main draw, she upset the second seed Alice Robbe in the first round in straight sets. She won both the quarter-final and semifinal 7-5 in the third set before claiming the trophy with a straight-set victory in the final over Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva.
Read Also: How the Rest of 2023 Went for Jannik Sinner
On the ITF Junior circuit, Canadian twins Mikael and Nicolas Arseneault reached the doubles final at the J300 event in San Jose, knocking off the top seeded pair 11-9 in the match tiebreak in the quarter-finals, before falling in straight-sets in the final.
This week on the ITF circuit, a trio of Canadian women are competing at a W75 event in Rome.
You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.