Experienced group of athletes make up Team Canada tennis squad in Paris

Five athletes will represent Team Canada as they take the clay courts at Roland-Garros, the site of the French Open, to compete in tennis at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Leylah Annie Fernandez, Bianca Andreescu, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic will all represent Canada in the singles tournaments. Gabriela Dabrowski earned a direct acceptance into the women’s doubles draw and will partner with Fernandez, while Auger-Aliassime will pair up with Raonic in men’s doubles.

These athletes qualified for the Games via their WTA or ATP rankings as of Monday, June 10. Having missed a lot of time with injuries, Andreescu and Raonic used their protected rankings to gain direct acceptance into the singles draws.

The entry list for mixed doubles will also be based on the rankings, but will be determined via an on-site sign-in the week of the tournament and will comprise athletes who are already participating in one of the other four tournaments.

Auger-Aliassime and Fernandez will be competing at their second straight Olympic Games after debuting at Tokyo 2020. Andreescu will make her Olympic debut, after having withdrawn from Tokyo 2020. It will be a third Olympic appearance for Dabrowski following Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 while Raonic returns to the Olympic Games for the first time in over a decade, after making his debut at London 2012.

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, front right, and Gabriela Dabrowski celebrate during a Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers doubles match on Saturday, April 15, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Fernandez, Canada’s highest-ranked women’s singles entry, is currently 30th in the WTA rankings. She has three career singles titles, winning in Hong Kong in 2023, as well as Monterrey in both 2021 and 2022. She was a finalist in the 2021 US Open, her best Grand Slam result. She reached the singles quarterfinals of the 2022 French Open at Roland-Garros, She reached the Roland-Garros final in women’s doubles in 2023 with American Taylor Townsend.

The 21-year-old was also the one to clinch Canada’s first-ever title at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, defeatingItaly’s Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. She lifted the cup alongside Marina Stakusic, Rebecca Marino, Genie Bouchard and Dabrowski.

“It’s an honor to be able to represent Canada at the Olympic Games again. I had a lot of fun at the last Games in Tokyo and can’t wait to join the rest of the team in Paris,” said Fernandez. “It’s a great experience to be able to meet and spend time with athletes from other disciplines. We are all normally so focused within our own sports, and the Olympics gives us all a chance to learn from each other and come together as one big family.”

Canada's tennis team hold up the Billie Jean King Cup trophy while wearing blue blazers
Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, left, celebrates with members of her team after wining the final singles tennis match against Italy’s Jasmine Paolini, during the Billie Jean King Cup finals in La Cartuja stadium in Seville, southern Spain, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Andreescu has played in just two tournaments in 2024, but she advanced to the final at the Libema Open two weeks ago in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. The 24-year-old has three singles titles to her name, winning all three in 2019 as she claimed trophies at Indian Wells, the Canadian Open in Toronto, and the US Open, becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title.

Auger-Aliassime is ranked 17th in the ATP singles ranking. He had a breakout 2022 season as he advanced to his third straight Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open, won his first career title in Rotterdam, and then won three titles in three weeks late in the year in Florence, Antwerp and Basel.

This year, he reached the final in Madrid to become the first Canadian ATP Masters 1000 finalist on clay courts.

Raonic made his mark on the tennis world when he became the first Canadian Grand Slam men’s singles finalist at the 2016 Wimbledon. He has eight career singles titles, all coming on hard courts between 2011 and 2016. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world in November 2016.

“It’s a real honour to be able to represent Team Canada at the 2024 Paris Games. My first Olympic experience at London 2012 was amazing, and I’m sure this will be even more so,” said Raonic. “We, as a team, have such strength in depth that we go there with the chance of doing something special. For me, this is an opportunity I thought mightn’t come around again, so I’m going to savour every moment.”

Milos Raonic celebrates victory in the quartefinals at the Paris Masters
Canada’s Milos Raonic celebrates after defeating France’s Ugo Humbert during their quarter-final game of the Paris Masters tennis tournament at the Bercy Arena in Paris, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Dabrowski, ranked No. 4 in the world, has 16 career titles in women’s doubles. That includes a Grand Slam title at the 2023 US Open with New Zealand partner Erin Routliffe. She was a key player in Canada’s historic triumph at the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup. It was a victory by Dabrowski and Fernandez in the doubles match that won the semifinal over the Czech Republic.

“In sport, there is no greater honour than competing in the Olympics alongside the best athletes in the world,” said Dabrowski. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate and partner with Leylah [Fernandez]. Can’t wait to be there!”

The Canadian team heads to the Games on the back of unparalleled success on the international stage. Canada is the reigning world champions of women’s team tennis, having clinched the Billie Jean King Cup title last November. Meanwhile, the men’s team – which included Auger-Aliassime – won Canada’s first-ever Davis Cup title in 2022.

Canada’s only Olympic tennis medal was won at Sydney 2000 where Daniel Nestor and Sebastien Lareau claimed gold in men’s doubles.

Tennis will take place from July 27 to August 4 (Day 1 to 9) at Roland-Garros.

Team Canada Tennis Athletes at Paris 2024:

Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, Ont.)
Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, Que.)
Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, Ont.)
Félix Auger Aliassime (Montreal, Que.)
Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.)