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Monday Digest: Marino Claims Biggest Title at Guanajuato Open – Tennis Canada

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Rebecca Marino stole the show last week with a career-best result at the Guanajuato Open on the ITF circuit. She has played well there in the past and now has the biggest victory of her career to celebrate in Mexico. 

Across the ocean, the action ramps up with the first WTA 1000 event of the year and a trio of Canadian men in Rotterdam. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Under the Radar: Biggest Win for Marino 

It had been a while since Rebecca Marino lifted a trophy, at least individual trophy, but it was well worth the wait. The veteran Canadian was victorious at the Guanajuato Open, an ITF W100 event which makes it the biggest title of her career. 

Marino’s previous bests were two W60 events, the most recent coming in 2022. She also reached the final of the Guanajuato Open in 2022, her most recent singles final, when it was just a W60 event. 

Photo : Pablo M/@guanajuato_open

Last week, the Canadian was on fire, dropping just one set in the quarter-finals against Iryna Shymanovich on her way to the title. She took down third seed Sachia Vickery in the semis before claiming the trophy in dominant fashion over fourth seed Jule Niemeier 6-1, 6-2. 

With the win, Marino jumps 36 spots back into the Top 150 in the WTA rankings. 

Read also: San Jose Success for Young Canadians

Marino nearly doubled-up at the Guanajuato Open, reaching the doubles final alongside American Ann Li. However, the pair were beaten in straight sets by Hailey Baptiste and Whitney Osuigwe. 

Carol Zhao also reached the quarter-finals of the Guanajuato Open, losing in three sets to Niemeier. 

This week, the two Canadians will look to continue their good form at another event in Mexico, this time a W50 in Morelia. 

Canadian Davis Cup team members Alexis Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil are back on the ATP Challenger Tour this week at events in Cherbourg, France and Bengaluru, India. 

In Case You Missed It: Gaston Tags Back Shapovalov 

It was a quiet week for the Canadians on the main tours, with Félix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov combining to go 1-2 at the ATP 250 event in Marseille. 

Shapovalov was drawn against Hugo Gaston for the second week in a row but could not recreate his straight-set win from Montpellier. The Frenchman got his revenge with a three-set win. 

Auger-Aliassime delivered one of his better performances of the year in a straight-set win over Quentin Halys in the first round, but could not recreate it and lost to Zhizhen Zhang in his next match. 

Click here for more news from the tours.

What to Watch: Fernandez, Dabrowski at 1000 level, Full House in Rotterdam 

Leylah Annie Fernandez is Canada’s lone representative in the singles draw at the first WTA 1000 event of the year in Doha. 

The Canadian No. 1 has already kicked off her campaign, scoring an upset on Monday of No. 12 seed Liudmila Samsonova. In round two, she will aim to score a first win against Paula Badosa. 

It is a tough draw for Fernandez in Doha, as a win over Badosa, who leads their head-to-head 3-0, could set up a clash with Australian Open runner-up Qinwen Zheng in the third round. If she pulls that upset, her reward could be a quarter-final clash with last week’s Abu Dhabi champion Elena Rybakina. The Canadian is in the bottom half of the draw with No. 2 seed Coco Gauff. 

Fernandez also got off to a winning start in the doubles on Monday, as she and partner Oksana Kalashnikova won a thriller over Sara Errani and Jasmine Paolini 13-11 in the match tiebreak. They will face the top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens in round two. 

Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe are also competing in their first event since the Australian Open. The second seeds in Doha have a bye and will open against either Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic or Ekaterina Alexandrov and Irina Khromacheva. 

There is lots to cheer for in Rotterdam this week with three Canadian men in the main draw. 

Milos Raonic got the Canadian contingent off to a winning start on Monday, claiming his first win of 2024 over Jesper de Jong in straight sets. He awaits the winner between Borna Coric and eighth seed Alexander Bublik. 

If he gets to the last eight, Raonic could get an all-Canadian quarter-final with Denis Shapovalov, who came through qualifying to reach the main draw, beating Hugo Gaston in their third meeting in as many weeks. 

Shapovalov has a tough road to that quarter, however. He opens against Gael Monfils and a win could set a up a clash with the Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner. 

Félix Auger-Aliassime finds himself on the other half of the draw, away from his countrymen but with a draw similar to Shapovalov. He has a tricky opener against Maxime Cressy and could face second seed Andrey Rublev in round two.  

Read also: Tennis Canada and Rogers to provide $1.2 million for Year-Round Community Tennis Court projects in 2024

Fifth seed Alex de Minaur is the Canadian’s projected quarter-final opponent if he gets past Rublev, with Holger Rune and Grigor Dimitrov slated for the semis. 

Back on this side of the Altantic, Gabriel Diallo will play in his first ATP Tour main draw since the National Bank Open in Toronto last summer. He got into the draw at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach as a lucky loser.  

Diallo will play Nuno Borges in the first round with top seed Taylor Fritz awaiting in round two. 

You can follow the Canadians in action every week here.  

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