Canadians learn of first-round opponents at Australian Open

Canadians Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) and Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) learned of their first-round opponents at the 2022 Australian Open after the singles draw was made on Thursday.

Having captained Team Canada to ATP Cup glory in Sydney last week, Auger-Aliassime enters the year’s first Grand Slam as the highest-ranked Canadian in singles at No. 9, which also happens to be a career high. His most recent Grand Slam appearance was at the US Open where he reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. At the 2021 Australian Open, Auger-Aliassime reached the fourth round before losing to Aslan Karatsev. This year, he has been drawn against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round in Melbourne. Win his first three matches and Auger-Aliassime could face No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia in the fourth round.

Another key member of Canada’s ATP Cup triumph, Shapovalov will go into the event ranked No 14. The 22-year-old enjoyed his best run at a Grand Slam at last year’s Wimbledon, where he made it to the semi-finals before falling to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Shapovalov reached the third round of last year’s Australian Open, losing to compatriot Auger-Aliassime. He will open the 2022 edition against Serbia’s Laslo Djere with a potential third-round matchup with the United States’ Reilly Opelka on the cards before a prospective fourth-round meeting with No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Click here to see the men’s singles main draw in full.

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

In the women’s main draw, 2021 US Open finalist and No. 23 seed Fernandez will be hoping to repeat the incredible two weeks she enjoyed in New York last September when she takes to the courts in Melbourne. In 2021, the teenager was knocked out in the first round by No. 18 seed Elise Mertens. This year, Fernandez will begin the tournament with a clash against Australian wild card Maddison Inglis with the prospect of a third-round match against No. 16 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany and a rematch of her US Open semi-final against No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in round four.

Click here to see the women’s singles main draw in full.

In doubles, two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Dabrowski is expected to be one of the favorites in Melbourne. Last year, she and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States lost in the second round to United States’ duo Coco Gauff and Caty McNally. The doubles draw for this year’s Australian Open will take place later this week.

Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) could be involved in the women’s singles main draw having won her first two matches of qualifying. She will take on Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova in the final round of qualifying this evening. On the men’s side, Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) lost his first-round qualifying match to Argentina’s Thiago Agustin Tirante.

Click here to see the woman’s singles qualifying draw in full.




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