Tennis

Six Canadians in the main draws of the U.S. Open

Auger-Aliassime (No. 6), Fernandez (No. 14) and Shapovalov (No. 19) among the seeds

The official draw ceremony to determine the singles main draws for the U.S. Open was held today in New York. Six Canadian athletes will compete in the Grand Slam event, including Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC), Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) and in doubles, Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON).

Auger-Aliassime is the top-ranked Canadian at No. 8 in the ATP rankings, which is also a career-high, and he’ll be the sixth seed in the men’s draw. In the first round, he will face a qualifier. The Montrealer, who had his best showing at Flushing Meadows last year when he reached the semi-final before falling to World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, is in the top half of the draw. In his path are the likes of Great Britain’s Jack Draper, No. 27 seed Karen Khachanov and No. 12 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, champion of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.

As for Shapovalov, he will be the No. 19 seed at Flushing Meadows. The Ontarian is in the bottom half of the draw and will face Switzerland’s Marc-Andrea Huesler, ranked No. 102 in the world, in the first round. He could also face No. 9 seed Andrey Rublev in the third round and No. 7 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the round of 16. Over the course of his career, Shapovalov has competed in the main draw of this prestigious tournament five times, with his best result being a quarter-final appearance in 2020.

Photo: Peter Power – Tennis Canada

On the women’s side, Leylah Annie Fernandez is the No. 14 seed and will open against Oceane Dodin of France. Last year, the Quebec native enjoyed a dream run in New York, reaching the final after eliminating four seeds. Fernandez, who is playing in the U.S. Open for the third time in her career, will be hoping to recapture the magic of 2021, as she will have to contend with the likes of Liudmila Samsonova, 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova (No. 23 seed) and second-seeded Estonian, Anett Kontaveit, in her section of the draw.

Ontario’s Bianca Andreescu will also be making her return to the tournament where, in 2019, she became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. Like Fernandez, she is in the bottom half of the draw, and has a tough road ahead as she could face, in order: National Bank Open finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia (no. 15 seed), Cincinnati champion Caroline Garcia (No. 17 seed) and third-seeded Maria Sakkari. Andreescu, who was ranked no. 121 in April, has been steadily improving since her return to tennis and now sits at No. 50 in the WTA Tour rankings.

The last Canadian representative in the women’s singles draw, Rebecca Marino (ranked No. 112 in the world), will be making her fourth U.S Open main-draw appearance since her professional debut. Marino, who is competing this week at the Granby National Bank Championships, will face Poland’s Magdalena Frech in the first round. Her potential opponents after Frech could be National Bank Open champion Simona Halep (No. 7 seed), Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann (No. 30 seed) and 18-year-old American Coco Gauff (No. 12 seed).

Lastly, in doubles, fans will once again be able to count on the presence of Ontario’s Gabriela Dabrowski (world No. 7 in doubles), who will be making her ninth appearance at the American Major. Dabrowski, who holds 13 WTA doubles titles, including two mixed doubles trophies at the Australian Open (2018) and French Open (2017), reached the semi-finals in Flushing

Meadows last year with Brazil’s Luisa Stefani, the best result of her career at the event. The doubles main draw will be announced in the coming days.

To consult the singles draws:

Keep an eye on qualies

Vasek Pospisil - OBN 2022Photo: Pascal Ratthé – Tennis Canada

Another player could be added to the already strong Canadian delegation in the coming days as Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC) will take part in the second round of the qualifying round later today. Pospisil (world no. 132) is coming off a semifinal appearance at the Odlum Brown VanOpen in Vancouver and also won the Quimper Challenger tournament this season. In the first round of qualifying, he defeated India’s Sumit Nagal 7-6(2), 6-4 and will face Italy’s Andreas Seppi shortly. If he can beat Seppi, he will face the winner of the match between Facundo Bagnis and Kaichi Uchida on Friday. Pospisil is attempting to play in his eleventh main draw in Flushing Meadows.

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