When Wimbledon started on Monday, for only the third time in Canadian tennis history, there were five Canadians who qualified in men’s singles at a grand slam tennis event. The Canadian men who qualified were Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario (seeded 15th), Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, Quebec (seeded 19th), Denis Shapovalov of Toronto, Ontario (seeded 29th), Brayden Schnur of Pickering, Ontario and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia. It was also the first time ever at a grand slam that there were three Canadian seeds in the men’s draw.
Three of the Canadians were in action on Monday, and for only the second time ever at a grand slam, two Canadians played against each other. Auger-Aliassime got the better of Pospisil with a four set victory on court 12. After losing the first set 7-5, mostly due to poor serving, Auger-Aliassime took control of the next three sets in winning scores of 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. The other Canadian on Monday to win was Raonic, who beat Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 7-6, 6-4, 6-2. Auger-Aliassime will next play Corentin Moutet of France and Raonic will play Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
On Tuesday, Shapovalov will play Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania and Schnur, a lucky loser, will play the 2006 Australian Open finalist, Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. On the women’s side, Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal, Quebec is the lone Canadian in the draw and will play Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.
The only other time that two Canadians played against each other at a major came at the 2018 United States Open when Shapovalov beat Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 5-7, 4-1. Also at the 2018 U.S. Open, five Canadians were in the men’s draw as the other three Canadians were Pospisil, Raonic and Peter Polansky of Toronto, Ontario. The only other time that five Canadians qualified for the men’s singles main draw at a major tennis tournament was the 1990 Australian Open. That year the Canadian participants were Martin Laurendeau of Montreal, Quebec, Chris Pridham of Toronto, Ontario, Martin Wostenholme of Toronto, Ontario, Grant Connell of Regina, Saskatchewan and Andrew Sznajder of Toronto, Ontario.