MONTREAL, January 11, 2019 (Tennis Canada Press Release)
The singles draws are set for the first Grand Slam of the season. The 2019 Australian Open main draw will feature at least three Canadians, as Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) and Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC) are all set to compete in Melbourne.
Currently ranked no. 17 in the world, Milos Raonic will be the 16th seed in Australia. The big-serving Canadian got off to a good start in 2019, reaching the quarter-finals of the ATP Tour 250 event in Brisbane a week ago. He is looking to continue his momentum at the Australian Open in the hopes of breaking back into the Top 10 for the first time since late 2016. The Canadian’s best performance in Melbourne came in 2016 when he reached the semi-finals. Raonic is looking to better his results from last year, which saw him fall in the opening round of action. Standing in his way this year is Australia native and former world no. 13 Nick Kyrgios. The two players have met six times in their careers, with each winning three of the match-ups. Other notable names in Raonic’s quarter of the draw include Stan Wawrinka, Hyeon Chung and Alexander Zverev.
He will be joined in the main draw by fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who is slated to be the 25th seed in the tournament. After breaking onto the scene in 2017, Shapovalov continued his ascent of the rankings in 2018, breaking into the Top 30 and reaching three semi-finals on the ATP Tour. The 19-year-old will be competing at the Australian Open for the second time in his young career, having reached the second round at last year’s event. His first round opponent this year will be Pablo Andujar of Spain, ranked no. 82 in the world. This will be the first meeting between the two players. Other potential match-ups for Shapovalov include Taro Daniel in the second round, Novak Djokovic in the third round and David Goffin in the fourth round.
Eugenie Bouchard has had a rather successful start to the new year, putting on great performances at the WTA tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. She not only reached the quarter-finals in singles, but went on to take home the doubles title playing alongside Sofia Kenin of the United States. Currently ranked no. 79 in the world, the Canadian will be taking part in the Australian Open for the seventh time of her career. Her best results came in 2014 when she reached the semi-finals. Standing in her way in the opening round is Shuai Peng of China. Bouchard leads their head-to-head with two wins and no losses, with their most recent encounter taking place in 2017 at the Australian Open. The Canadian is in a tough quarter of the draw, as she could potentially face Serena Williams, Carla Suarez Navarro and Simona Halep in the early rounds.
There are still two Canadians left in the qualifying competition, as Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), and Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) are vying for a spot in the main draw. Last year, Polansky fell in the final round of qualifications in Australia, but was granted a Lucky Loser spot in the main draw. As for Andreescu, she is coming off a deep run at a tournament in Auckland, where she reached her first WTA final. The 2017 junior Australian Open doubles champion is looking to qualify for a spot in the main draw in Australia for the first time in her career.