Six Canadians in singles at 2017 Wimbledon

Milos Raonic (Wikimedia Commons)

The third major of the 2017 tennis season gets underway on Monday, and there is no question that Canadian tennis is just not strong in quality, but quantity as well. There will be six Canadians who will be participating in the singles draw of Wimbledon this year.

On the men’s side, Canada will be represented by Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario, Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ontario and Vasek Pospisil of Vernon, British Columbia.

Raonic, who is seeded sixth, has Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the first round, while Shapovalov has the inconsistent Jerzy Janowicz of Poland and Pospisil has the eighth seed and two-time French Open semi-finalist Dominic Thiem of Austria.

It should be smooth sailing for Raonic, who plays Tuesday. There is no question that Pospisil will be in tough on Tuesday, but he is playing on grass (his best surface) and can take confidence with the fact that he has already beaten Andy Murray at Indian Wells this season.

The last time Shapovalov made headlines was for all the wrong reasons. In the first round of the Davis Cup in Ottawa in February, he smashed the tennis ball in disappointment and hit chair umpire Arnaud Gabas in the eye. Shapovalov lost by default and Gabas required facial surgery as a result. Now Shapovalov has been given a wildcard for Wimbledon and will play Janowicz on Monday. The 26 year-old Pole who is 141st in the world, advanced to the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2013, but has lost in the first round in the last six majors he has participated in. Shapovalov has an excellent chance to advance to the second round.

As for the women, Canada will be represented by Eugenie Bouchard and Francoise Abanda of Montreal and Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ontario. Unfortunately not much is expected from all three. Bouchard is battling an ankle ailment and will have to play 25th ranked Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain on Monday. Abanda meanwhile will play Kurumi Nara of Japan also on Monday. Let’s just hope Abanda improves from her last match at a major where she got hammered by Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-0, 6-0 in the second round of the 2017 French Open. As for Andreescu, this will be her first career grand slam singles match and will play Kristina Kucova of Slovakia on Tuesday.

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