The 2022 Canadian Open, the first 1000 event in the North American hard court swing, is scheduled to begin this Monday. This year, the ATP tournament will be held in Montreal while the WTA tournament will be played in Toronto.
In last year’s edition, Daniil Medvedev clinched the men’s singles title by defeating American Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-3 in the final. The women’s team was won by Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5, to claim her first WTA 1000 title.
Many top players will be in attendance at this year’s Canadian Open. Defending champion and world number 1 Daniil Medvedev and world number 4 Carlos Alcaraz will be among the top two seeds in the men’s draw. The women’s draw will be led by world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit.
Other than that, the Canadian Open will be graced by Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios to name a few. There are, however, a few important players who will not be seen on Canadian courts this year.
Here’s a look at the top eight players expected to miss the Canadian Open:
#8 Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins had a stellar start to the season beating Iga Swiatek in the Australian Open semi-final to reach her first Grand Slam final but couldn’t keep the momentum going.
Things started to look grim when Collins appeared to suffer a neck injury during her quarterfinal encounter against Naomi Osaka at the Miami Open. The American hasn’t played many tournaments since, but reached the women’s doubles semi-finals at Wimbledon.
However, the world No.9 was forced to withdraw from the Canadian Open in Toronto due to a recurring neck injury.
Lorenzo Musetti has steadily climbed the rankings since his fourth round at the 2021 French Open, where he forced eventual champion Novak Djokovic to a fifth set before retiring from the encounter.
Musetti won his first ATP title at the European Open in Hamburg beating Carlos Alcaraz. He is now placed at the peak of his career as world No. 30.
The Italian will not compete for the title in Montreal this year. During the 2021 edition of the Canadian Open, Musetti allegedly broke Covid protocols and left the “controlled environment”. He was thus expelled from the qualifying rounds of the tournament last year.
#6 Dominique Thiem
Former world No. 3 Dominic Thiem has been out of form since sustaining a wrist injury last year. The Austrian was absent from the courts for a year before making a competitive return.
He did not enjoy immediate success upon his return. He took a step forward when he qualified for the quarter-finals of the Swedish Open and the Austrian Open in Kitzbühel and made the last four of the Swiss Open.
Thiem has withdrawn from the Canadian Open but is on the entry list for the Cincinnati Masters.
#5 Reilly Opelka
Reilly Opelka had a great run at the 2021 Canadian Open and reached his first Masters final at the event. En route to the final, Opelka dominated Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, Lloyd Harris, Roberto Bautista Agut and Stefanos Tsitsipas. He finally fell to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at the final hurdle.
The 24-year-old added two titles to his name this season by winning the Dallas Open and ATP Houston.
Last year’s Canadian Open finalist is expected to miss this year’s edition. A few weeks earlier, Opelka withdrew from the Atlanta Open due to injury. The American has been bothered by his shoulder lately.
#4 Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev may have reached a career-high world No. 2, but the titles have eluded the German tennis player this season.
Zverev’s quest for a maiden Grand Slam title was cut short at Roland Garros after suffering a freak ankle injury as he battled in the semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
The 2017 Canadian Open champion has since disappeared and is still recovering from his multi-ligament tear. He will not participate in Montreal at the Canadian Open.
As it turned out, three-time Canadian Open semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka will not be entering Canada this year. Azarenka took to social media on Sunday to announce that her visa application had not been approved and therefore will have to miss the Canadian Open.
“Hello everyone! I wanted to inform you that I unfortunately have to withdraw from the tournament in Toronto because my visa has not been approved. It’s really disappointing. It’s very sad to miss one of my favorite tournaments. I love playing in Canada with great fans and a place I’ve made lots of friends over the years. Good luck to everyone at the event! See you in Cincinnati!” revealed Azarenka.
It comes after the Belarusian was barred from competing at Wimbledon due to her nationality, over the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The double winner of the Australian Open will then be seen in action on the courts of Cincinnati.
#2 Novak Djokovic
This year, Novak Djokovic has been in the tabloids more for his unvaccinated status than for his tennis exploits. The 2022 Wimbledon champion was expelled from Australia in January due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. He was therefore unable to defend his title.
The uncertainty surrounding the Serb’s participation in the Canadian Open was dispelled on Thursday when officials announced the four-time champion’s withdrawal from the event.
In fact, Djokovic’s inclusion in any of the North American swing tournaments is highly doubtful, including entering the US Open.
#1 Raphael Nadal
At 36, Rafael Nadal has achieved exceptional tennis this year. The former world number one added two more Grand Slams to take his tally to 22, overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. He now holds the men’s singles record for the most Grand Slams won.
While vying for a third straight Grand Slam title at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, Nadal’s trip was cut short due to an abdominal injury and he had to withdraw from his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios .
The Spaniard has withdrawn from the Canadian Open as he recovers from the said injury.
“I have been training for a while without serving and started with serves four days ago. Everything went well. However, yesterday after my normal training I felt a slight discomfort in my abdominals and today it was still there. After speaking with my doctor, we prefer to take things conservatively and give a few more days before starting competition, “said the five-time Canadian Open champion during from a conversation with Tennis Canada.