(Melbourne, Australia) An eventful streak will set in motion this weekend for Canadian tennis players, who are about to complete their mandatory quarantine for the Australian Open.
Quebecers Félix Auger-Aliassime and Leylah Annie Fernandez will also be in action over the next few days.
However, Vancouverite Rebecca Marino will set the tone for this streak at the Gippsland Trophy, one of the warm-up tournaments for the Grand Slam tournament presented in Melbourne in February.
Marino, the 313e player in the world, will participate in a first major tournament in eight years. She will face in the first round on February 8 the 97e racket to the world, the Italian Jasmine Paolini.
This tournament will start on Sunday, or Saturday night in Canada.
Fernandez of Laval and Ontarian Bianca Andreescu will be the other two players in the women’s singles main draw at the Australian Open. They will participate in the Grampians Trophy, which begins on Wednesday.
This tournament is reserved for players who have been confined to their hotel rooms for the duration of their quarantine, after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 on one of the charter flights to Melbourne.
Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, has not played an official game since her left knee injury in October 2019.
On the men’s side, Auger-Aliassime will participate in the Murray River Open starting Monday.
The ATP Team Cup will follow on Tuesday (Monday evening in Canada) and will pit the representatives of the maple leaf against the defending champion, Serbia.
Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., Will meet up with Dusan Lajovic as a curtain-raiser before compatriot Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., Cross swords with world No.1 Novak Djokovic. A doubles match will then take place.
Canada will face Germany the next day to complete the group stage.
For his part, Vancouverite Vasek Pospisil is scheduled to compete in the Great Ocean Road Open, which begins on Monday.
Auger-Aliassime, Raonic, Shapovalov, and Pospisil are all entered in the men’s singles main draw at the Australian Open.
For the fifth time in the modern era, seven or more Canadians will compete in a Grand Slam tournament. This feat also occurred at Wimbledon in 1988, the United States Open in 1989, the Australian Open in 1990 (there were eight) and the United States Open in 2014, according to the International Federation. of tennis.