Thomas Venos hits a forehand during the ITF Wheelchair event in Villers-Les-Nancy.

An impressive victory by Thomas Venos last week added to what has been a big year for Canadian wheelchair tennis players. 

Venos was not even the only Canadian wheelchair athlete to lift a trophy last week. In fact, there was even one claimed on home soil. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Under the Radar: Venos Heads Canadian Triple 

There has been a steady stream of big results by the Canadians on the ITF Wheelchair Tour in 2024, but last week was the biggest week yet with three trophies ending up in Canadian hands. 

Thomas Venos led the way with a win at the Futures event in Villers-lès-Nancy, France. After three straight-set wins to advance to the title match, the Canadian gritted out a three-set win 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to claim his first title of the year. 

Thomas Venos (left).

The title is the fifth ITF singles title of Venos’ career. It is also his first outside of North America, as his previous four titles all came in either Canada or the United States. The 24-year-old has now won a singles title in three consecutive seasons. 

This week, Venos will look to keep the momentum going at an event in Plock, Poland. 

Mitch McIntyre won his second ITF quad doubles title of the year in Switzerland last week. He and Israeli partner Shraga Weinberg dropped a mere two games on their way to the title, which they won by defeating the top-seeded pair 6-1, 6-1. 

Gary Luker made it three wins for the Canadians and his came on home soil at the Premier Racquet Club Wheelchair Classic in Markham, ON. Luker won the quad singles event, which was a round-robin. He won all of his matches in straight sets, losing a total of just eight games in the event. 

Read also: Kai Schrameyer Set Bar High for Canadian Wheelchair Tennis Players

While Luker was the lone Canadian to claim a pro title in Markham, Anne-Marie Dolinar came close to joining him in the winner’s circle. She reached the women’s singles final where she fell in straight sets to the top seed Maria Fernanda Alves of Brazil. 

Anne-Marie Dolinar (right).
John Chen (BC) won the juniors title in Markham over Frédérique Bérubé-Perron (BC). 

Canada also played host to an ITF J100 junior event in Burlington last week, with three of the four trophies ending up in Canadian hands. 

Nicolas Arseneault claimed the boys singles title when his twin brother Mikael retired in the final. Emma Dong won the girls singles title over fellow Canadian Anna Tabunshchyk. The girls doubles title was claimed by the host-nation team of Anastasia Malysheva and Anna Taylor.  

Canada’s juniors were also competing at the Jr Davis Cup, Jr Billie Jean King Cup, and U14 World Junior Tennis team competition qualifying events last week. The U14 boys team and the U16 girls team both qualified for the finals later this year.

Click here to read more about the qualifying event.

Photo : USTA/V. Estrella

Alexis Galarneau’s strong form on the ATP Challenger Tour in Mexico continued last week as he reached the semifinals of an event in Acapulco. Galarneau has reached the quarter-finals or better in four consecutive weeks at events in Mexico. 

This week, the Canadian women are out in force at a pair of ITF W100 events. Rebecca Marino, Carol Zhao and Stacey Fung are all competing in Tokyo, Japan, while Marina Stakusic and Katherine Sebov are in the draw in Oeiras, Portugal.  

In Case You Missed It: Muddy Progress for Auger-Aliassime 

Félix Auger-Aliassime reached his first quarter-final of the clay-court swing last week in Munich, his second trip to the last eight of an event in 2024. 

It was a challenging week in Germany as weather wreaked havoc with the schedule and the court. The Canadian was able to score wins over Maximilian Marterer and Taro Daniel before falling in the quarters against eventual-champion Jan-Lennard Struff in a match that started in the rain on Friday before being finished on Saturday morning. 

Denis Shapovalov made his 2024 on the European clay last week but lost in the first round of Bucharest to Corentin Moutet. 

Click here for more news from the tours.

What to Watch: Madrid Raises the Stakes 

The first combined 1000 event on clay kicks off this week at the Mutua Madrid Open with three Canadians in the singles draws. 

Leylah Annie Fernandez will contest her first event of 2024 on the European dirt. As the 32nd seed, she gets a first-round bye and will meet either Diana Shnaider or Anastasia Potapova in her first match.  

In round three, Fernandez is projected to meet the 2022 Madrid champion Ons Jabeur, seeded eighth. Ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko could loom in round four. The Canadian is in the same quarter as world No. 3 Coco Gauff and is in the top half of the draw with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek. 

Read also: Danielle Collins Catches Fire

On the men’s side, Félix Auger-Aliassime opens against Yoshihito Nishioka, with whom the Canadian has split their previous four meetings although Auger-Aliassime has won the last two, and would face No. 19 seed Adrian Mannarino in round two.  

The Montrealer has a difficult draw with No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov in line for round three, followed by Barcelona champion Casper Ruud in the fourth round and top seed Jannik Sinner likely awaiting in the quarter-finals. 

Denis Shapovalov kicks off his campaign against Facundo Diaz Acosta and would meet Roland-Garros quarter-finalist Tomas Martin Etcheverry in round two. Two-time Madrid champion Alexander Zverev looms in round three. Shapovalov faced Zverev in the 2018 semifinals at this event, which the German won in straight sets.  

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.