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Monday Digest: Canada Strikes Gold at Masters Championships – Tennis Canada

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It was a big weekend for Canada as they claimed gold at the ITF Masters World Team Championships. 

A decade had passed since any Canadians walked away with the most-desired hardware at the team event, but that drought ended last week as the Canadian men grabbed some gold, and a bit of silver to boot. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Under the Radar: Two Medals for Team Canada 

Canadian squads were competing all around the globe last week in ITF team events and a few walked away with some hardware. 

At the ITF Masters World Team Championships in Turkey, Canada’s men struck gold in the M75 competition, defeating Italy 3-0 in the final.  

The Canadian team of Tim Griffin, Chris Burr, and Joe Forrayi won all three of their ties in the group stage, claiming eight of nine matches, to finish atop Group D. They then defeated the United States 2-1 in the semis before finishing on top of the podium by sweeping Italy. 

In the M70s, the Canadian men swept Group F and then defeated Great Britain and Australia each 2-1 in the quarter and semifinals before falling in the gold-medal tie against France 2-1. 

“I am so pleased that Canada picked up two medals at the ITF World Masters Team Championships. What an achievement to participate in two finals and to come away with a Gold and Silver medal,” commented Irwin Tobias, Advisor to Masters Tennis and Events for Tennis Canada.  

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“This is unprecedented on the Canadian Masters landscape. Canada has never been in two finals at the same year at the World Championships. The Gold medal that our Over 75 Bitsy Grant Cup team won is the first gold medal in 10 years.”  

Qualifying for the Wheelchair World Team Cup took place last week in Peru and in Thailand. 

Chile was Canada’s nemesis at the two events, knocking out both the men’s team in Peru and the quads team in Thailand in the semifinals.  

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The quad team finished second in Group 2, beating the Republic of Korea and losing to Australia, before falling against the Chileans 2-0 in the semis. 

Back in the Americas, Canada’s men beat the hosts Peru and Guatemala but lost to Colombia to finish second in Group 2. They too lost 2-0 to Chile in the final four. 

In the women’s event in Peru, which was just a round robin, Canada went 2-2 with wins over Ecuador and Peru but losses to Colombia and Chile, finishing third in their group. 

For the second week in a row, there was ITF action in Quebec with a W15 event at IGA Stadium in Montreal. Jessica Failla walked away with the winners trophy, while a trio of Canadians reached the quarter-finals. 

Read all the details from Montreal here.

On the ITF junior circuit, Lola Emilie Bean had a close call at the J30 event in Monterrey, Mexico, where she lost in an epic doubles final 7-6(1), 6-7(3), 10-4. Down in El Salvador, the all-Canadian pair of Volodymyr Gurenko and Loic Petrecca also lost in the final of a J60 event. 

Liam Draxl reached his first ATP Challenger semifinal last week, getting to the final four of the Challenger de Santiago where he lost to the eventual champion Juan Pablo Varillas. 

In Case You Missed It: Disappointment for Dabrowski 

Only one Canadian made it to week two of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, that being Gabriela Dabrowski.  

But her stay in Tennis Paradise was short. Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe were upset in the second round of the doubles by Asia Muhammad and Ena Shibahara 12-10 in the match tiebreak.  

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What to Watch: Moving to Miami 

Part two of the Sunshine Double kicks off this week at the Miami Open. Four Canadians are expected to participate this week in Florida.

Leylah Annie Fernandez is seeded 31st and has a first-round bye. She will either face Tatjana Maria or a qualifier/lucky loser in her opening match.  

She could face No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula in round three, Dubai champion Jasmine Paolini in round four, and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the quarter-finals. 

Félix Auger-Aliassime, and Denis Shapovalov will be competing in the men’s singles. The draw gods were not kind to either man as they both have blockbusters lined up in round two.

In the first round, Auger-Aliassime will meet a qualifier but then will have to tussle with world No. 5 Alexander Zverev, seeded fourth, in the second round. The German leads their head-to-head 5-2 but they have not faced since May 2022. They are in the second quarter of the draw with No. 6 seed Holger Rune.

Shapovalov will face Luciano Darderi of Italy in round one. A win would set up a clash with 10th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Canadian leads their head-to-head 3-2, having won all of their hard court meetings. Andrey Rublev is also in that section of the draw, with No. 2 Jannik Sinner looming in the quarters.

Gabriela Dabrowski is expected to play in the women’s doubles alongside Erin Routliffe. 

Gabriel Diallo was the lone Canadian competing in qualifying but lost his first match to Sumit Nagal, who had been beaten by Milos Raonic in Indian Wells. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.    

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