Canadian men have made history at Wimbledon even before the 133rd edition of the Grand Slam tournament begins on Monday in the U.K.
Auger-Aliassme appears to have overtaken Raonic as the favourite among Canadian players.
The 18-year-old from Montreal has been impressive with a 6-2 record on grass in 2019, including the final in Stuttgart three weeks ago and the semi-final at Queen’s Club (London) the following week.
It’s up and down. I sort of wake up with different feelings and sensations each and every day.— Canada’s Milos Raonic on his lower-back problems
“I’m having some better days, some worse days with it,” said Raonic about his back on Saturday. “I’m just trying to manage as best as I can come Monday [his first round against No. 94-ranked Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India] and take it day by day from there.
“It’s up and down. I sort of wake up with different feelings and sensations each and every day.”
Physical, mental grind
Auger-Aliassime has beaten 12 top-50 ranked players and reached three ATP Tour finals this season, propelling him up the ATP world rankings from No. 108 at the start of the year to No. 21.
His last match was a 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 loss to eventual champion Feliciano Lopez at Queen’s Club.
Shapovalov is 0-2 this year at grass-court events but the 2016 Wimbledon junior boys champion has had tough draws including No. 38-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in Stuttgart and No. 12 Juan Martin del Potro at Queen’s Club.
Last week during an exhibition event on grass in Stoke Park west of London, Shapovalov gained some confidence by beating Fabio Fognini, Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.
Bouchard lone Canadian in singles play
Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., faces 74th-ranked Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania on Tuesday. Auger-Aliassime, in only his second Grand Slam main-draw match, faces Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil on Monday. The 29-year-old Pospisil is playing his first tournament in seven months following back surgery in January.
Bouchard has played only one match on grass since exiting the French Open first round on May 28, a 6-2, 6-0 qualifying loss to No. 99-ranked Fiona Ferro of France at the WTA Premier event in Eastbourne, England, last week.
The 21-year-old Zidansek has lost in the qualifying in two previous appearances at Wimbledon while Bouchard has an 11-6 record but is only 3-4 since 2014. Canadian Fed Cup team captain Heidi El Tabakh is working with Bouchard at Wimbledon.