As 2019 comes to a close, Canada has cemented itself as a rising tennis powerhouse with arguably the most impressive roster of young talent anywhere in the world. While you’d be hard-pressed to find any fervent tennis fans who disagree with that assessment, it’s equally as difficult to imagine making the argument at the beginning of this year.
A traditional hockey nation with little historical success on tennis’ biggest stages, the Great White Northerners have taken the sport by storm in 2019. The Canadians put a stamp on their record-setting year by making the Davis Cup final earlier this week for the first time in the country’s history. The team’s incredible run in Madrid was propelled by standout play from youngsters Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Despite being eventually halted by Spain in the tournament’s final, the Canadians strung together a surprising run of upsets that included victories over the USA, Italy, Australia and Russia. For Shapovalov and Pospisil in particular, the duo defeated a combined roster of singles standouts such as Matteo Berrettini (World No. 8), Fabio Fognini (World No. 12), Karen Khachanov (World No. 17) and Taylor Fritz (World No. 32). The team won’t return home with the Davis Cup trophy, but they continued to showcase a rising generation of Canadians that compete and win at the highest levels of tennis.
While the Davis Cup performance put the finishing touches on an astonishing 2019 season, fans in Tennis Paradise know that the first signs of Canada’s rise were on full display in March. The BNP Paribas Open gave many fans their first in-person glimpse of the aforementioned Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime, while well-known powerballer Milos Raonic returned to the semifinals for the second consecutive year. While the depth of up-and-coming talent puts Canadian men’s tennis in its best place in decades, it’s been overshadowed by the historic year put together by one 18-year-old upstart on the women’s side.
Starting the year at World No. 178, unheralded teenager Bianca Andreescu engineered a meteoric rise up the WTA rankings by elevating her play to a world-class level and defeating some of the most notable names in the history of the women’s game. She began her run in earnest in Tennis Paradise, as she stunned a loaded field at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on her way to becoming the first-ever female wildcard to claim the BNP Paribas Open trophy. Less than six months later, Andreescu returned home to her native Toronto and became the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup in 50 years. Just a few weeks after that, she touched down in New York City and traversed a minefield of elite talent at the US Open to win her first-career Major title. It’s only fitting that Andreescu capped off her spectacular individual season by notching another accolade for her country, as she became the first Canadian to claim a Grand Slam singles trophy.
Before we know it, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime, Andreescu and more of Canada’s finest will be back in Tennis Paradise. Don’t miss your opportunity to witness the world-class players that annually descend upon the desert, as the action gets back underway at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden next March 9-22, 2020.
Tennis Paradise awaits – are you ready to experience it?