Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski, left, and Croatia's Mate Pavic celebratePhoto: AP Photo/Dita Alangkara
Photo: AP Photo/Dita Alangkara

Australian Open: Dabrowski advances to mixed doubles quarterfinals

All eyes are now on Canadians Gabriela Dabrowski and Sharon Fichman at the Australian Open, who continue to play in mixed doubles and women’s doubles respectively at the Grand Slam.

Day 8 – February 15

On day 8 of the Australian Open, Gabriela Dabrowski continues mixed doubles domination while Sharon Fichman reaches Grand Slam women’s doubles quarterfinal for the first time!

Gaby Dabrowski and Croatian partner Mate Pavic continued their mixed doubles play with a win over American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and British Jamie Murray. The Canadian-Croatian duo won the third set tie breaker, hitting five winners to win their second round match 7-6, 5-7, 10-3.

They will be back in action in the quarterfinals against Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and American Rajeev Ram. They are hoping to repeat their success from the 2018 Australian Open, where they won the mixed doubles championship

Sharon Fichman is through to the women’s doubles quarter-final match at the Australian Open. Fichman and Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos defeated Leylah Annie Fernandez and Britain’s Heather Watson in two sets of 6-3, 6-2. This is the first time the 30-year-old Canadian has reached quarterfinals of any major tournament in her senior career. She won the 2006 Australian Open junior women’s doubles finaL with Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. 

Fichman and Olmos will face No. 3 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in the next round.

All Canadian’s competing in men’s singles were illuminated yesterday. Despite surging ahead in a two set lead, Félix Auger-Aliassime was unable to overcome Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev who beat the Canadian in five sets, 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Auger-Aliassime’s Australian Open campaign came to a close after three hours and 25 minutes. At just 20 years of age, the Canadian has a long career of Grand Slam opportunities ahead.

Milos Raonic fell to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in his fourth round match in just under three hours of play. The Canadian lost in four sets of 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. In the last match on day 7 of the Australian Open, Raonic was unable to overcome the challenge of facing the number one player in the world. He fell short of reaching the quarter-finals in Australia for a third year in a row.

Day 6 – February 13

Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatian partner Mate Pavic began their mixed doubles journey on a high note. The duo opened up the tournament with a dominant victory over Australian partners Ivana Popovic and Aleksandar Vukic. Dabrowski and Pavic advanced to the second round in just 39 minutes after posting 6-1, 6-1 win.

The Canadian-Croatian duo is hoping to repeat their success from the 2018 Australian Open, where they won the mixed doubles championship.

Next up, they’ll face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Britain’s Jamie Murray.

On the other side of the court, Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov fell to American duo Nicholas Monroe and Frances Tiafoe 2-6, 7-6 (9), 6-2 in the men’s doubles tournament. Unfortunately, this marks the end of both of their time in Melbourne after being eliminated from the men’s singles competition earlier in the week.

On Sunday, Canada will be back in action with four Canadians on the court.

Félix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic will both look to advance to the quarter finals during overnight games in Melbourne . Auger-Aliassime will take on unseeded Aslan Karatsev of Russia, while Raonic will take on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in their fourth round matches.

In women’s doubles, Canadians Leylah Annie Fernandez and Sharon Fichman are set to face off against one another in a Canadian clash.

Day 5 – February 12

In an overnight Canadian matchup, Félix Auger-Aliassime beat 11th seed Denis Shapovalov in three sets of 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to reach a second consecutive Grand Slam fourth round.

This meeting between two of Tennis Canada’s best was the fifth time the Canadian men have faced each other at a Grand Slam in Open Era.

“It’s been an amazing night,” Auger-Aliassime stated. “It’s never easy to play Denis. We played for the first time when we were nine and 10 so we go back a long time. He’s beaten pretty bad a couple of times and tonight went my way. I was flawless and I played an amazing match.”

Shapovalov will be back in doubles action tomorrow alongside Vasek Pospisil. The Canadian duo will play their second round match against Americans Nicholas Monroe and Frances Tiafoe.

Milos Raonic (14) also secured his place in the fourth round. He saw off Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, taking the third and fourth by a more than convincing score to claim victory. Raonic hit 13 aces and won 84% of his first serve points. Raonic will meet World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, for a battle to quarterfinals.

On the women’s side, two Canadians prevailed in women’s doubles. Leylah Annie Fernandez and Heather Watson won their second round doubles match against the Australian pairing of Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock. Canadian Sharon Fichman and Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos downed Lucie Hradecka and Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in two sets 7-5, 6-3. 

With these two wins, we will see another clash of Canadians, but this time on the women’s side. In the third round, Fernandez and Fichman will battle with their respective partners to quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Gaby Dabrowski and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sandswill fell in second round action on Friday against Americans Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally. However, we will see her back in action tomorrow with first round mixed doubles action. 

Day 4 – February 11

The Canadian duo started their doubles tournament by defeating Slovakia’s Andrej Martin and Austria’s Tristan-Samuel Weissborn in two sets of 6-3, 7(7)-6(3). Our favourite Davis Cup duo scored 13 aces and 30 winning shots. They will play their second round match against Americans Nicholas Monroe and Frances Tiafoe.

Félix Auger-Aliassime’s run in men’s doubles came to a quick halt in the first round, after he and Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz lost to the British and sixth seed Ken and Neal Skupski in two straight sets of 3-6, 2-6. Auger-Aliassime will focus entirely on his singles play as he takes on Shapovalov in another great Canadian clash in the third round on Friday in Melbourne, a scenario that is far from new for the two Canadian players (Friday night at 3 a.m.ET for Canadian fans).

Competition also continues Thursday in Melbourne for Milos Raonic will play his third round singles match against unseeded Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.

On the women’s side, Sharon Fichman won her doubles first round match with partner Giuliana Olmos of Mexico in three sets, causing a huge upset. Losing the first 1-6, the pair came back strong to take the second and third sets, 7-6(1), 6-2 to oust fifth seed Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan. They will face the Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Kristyna Pliskova in the second round on Friday. (Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET for Canadian fans).

After a day off, Leylah Annie Fernandez will be back in action in women’s doubles also on Friday. Heather Watson and Leylah will face Australians Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock for a third round berth where they could cross swords with Sharon Fichman and Giuliana Olmos if the pair win their respective matches. Gaby Dabrowski and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sandswill will also be in action on Friday against Americans Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally, also for a place in the third round. 

Day 3 – February 10

Auger-Aliassime had no difficulty in the second round, as he defeated Australia’s James Duckworth in three sets of 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. The Quebec player scored 19 aces and 38 winning shots, also excelling in his defensive game.

Shapovalov had a similar second round, dominating his match against Australia’s Bernard Tomic in three sets of 6-1, 6-3 and 6-2. His victory means he will have to face close friend Auger-Aliassime in the third round on Thursday, a scenario that is far from new for the two Canadian players.

Raonic rounded out the Canadians’ singles wins for the day by also winning his second match. Despite a slightly tighter start, he got the better of his opponent Corentin Moutet of France in four sets, winning 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-1 and 6-4.

In the women’s doubles tournament, the sixth seed pair of Gaby Dabrowski and Bethanie Mattek-Sands won their first match 6-2, 6-3 against Kaitlyn Christain and Lara Arrubarrena.

While Leylah Annie Fernandez may be out of the singles tournament, she wasn’t leaving Melbourne just yet. She teamed up with Heather Watson for doubles, and upset tenth seed Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai.

Two matches will feature Canadians on Thursday, with Sharon Fichman playing in doubles in the first round, with Mexican Giuliana Olmos. Shapovalov is also set to play in doubles alongside Pospisil.

Day 2 – February 9

No Canadians were able to advance to the second round on Tuesday. Bianca Andreescu’s Grand Slam run came to a halt in the second round, after she lost to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in two sets of 6-3, 6-2. This was the first tournament in 15 months for the Torontonian recovering from an injury.

Vasek Pospisil fell to World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev in three straight sets of 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. His journey is not yet over, as Pospisil will play doubles on Thursday with Denis Shapovalov in the first round. They will face Australian duo Alex Bolt and Jordan Thompson together.

Leylah Annie Fernandez lost to 18th seed Elise Mertens, losing 6-1, 6-3. Fernandez will play doubles alongside Great Britain’s Heather Watson on Wednesday.

Rebecca Marino, who had just won her first match in ten years at a Grand Slam tournament, was also eliminated in the second round with a 6-1, 7-5 loss to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.

Day 1 – February 8

All of Canada’s tennis players that were in action on Monday at the Australian Open started the first Grand Slam of the season with a victory.

The first day of the Open saw Félix Auger-Aliassime, Bianca Andreescu, Rebecca Marino, Milos Raonic, and Denis Shapovalov win their matches.

READ: Canadian tennis players to watch at the Australian Open

For the first time since the WTA Finals in October 2019, Andreescu was back in action. The US Open champion was originally to compete in the Grampians Trophy tournament last week, but withdrew to focus on training for the Australian Open.

The decision paid off for her, as she defeated Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in her first match in 15 months. She will play Hsieh Su-wei in the second round.

Returning with a win after an even longer time off was Rebecca Marino. The Toronto native scored a win against Australian Kimberly Birrell in two straight sets of 6-0, 7-6.

The 30-year-old retired in 2013 due to depression, before deciding to return to tennis in September 2017. She began to slowly climb up the rankings before suffering from a foot injury during the summer of 2019. It looked like Marino was facing another setback last year in April when her father passed away due to prostate cancer. However, she decided to continue to try and qualify for the Australian Open, achieving this goal last month.

Marino will face 19th seed Markéta Vondroušová tomorrow in the next round.

Over in the men’s singles, Raonic easily defeated his opponent Federico Coria of Argentina 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Raonic will look to improve on his results from last year’s Australian Open, where he reached the quarterfinals.

Raonic will face Frenchman Corentin Moutet for his second match.

Less than a day after playing in the Murray River Open final, Auger-Aliassime did not slow down, winning his first match against Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. This is the first appearance in the main draw of the tournament for the 20-year-old Quebec player.

Auger-Alisassime will play Australian James Duckworth tomorrow.

The last Canadian player to play, Shapovalov, did not disappoint his fans as he put on quite a show, winning his first game against Italian Jannik Sinner in five sets of 3-6, 6-3, 6- 2, 4-6, 6-4. Shapovalov has reached several semifinals in tournaments like the Davis Cup, Italian Open, St. Petersburg Open and the Paris Masters in recent seasons.

For the second round Shapovalov will play Aussie Bernard Tomic.

Competition continues Tuesday in Melbourne with matches featuring Leylah Annie Fernandez and Vasek Pospisil in singles competition. Gaby Dabrowski and her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the U.S. will play their first doubles match, and Toronto native Sharon Fichman will also be in doubles action with Giuliana Olmos of Mexico.

Some of Canada’s singles players will also play in the doubles tournament. Pospisil and Shapovalov will play together, Auger-Aliassime will play with Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, while Fernandez is teaming up with British player Heather Watson.