The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Brisebois: 2023’s burning questions

January 12, 2023
Rod Laver Arena at night

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Among the many things tennis really gets right is its calendar.  

It takes forever for the Stanley Cup playoffs and MBL postseason to roll around, and golf waits until three months before the Masters to host its first major. In tennis, there’s no waiting.  

The season’s first Slam kicks off three weeks into the new season. In 2023, that’s this Sunday night owing to the 16-hour time difference with Melbourne! 

Ash barty looks at the australian open trophy
Photo: Martin Sidorjak

A new year unfailingly opens the door to a slew of burning questions about the months ahead. Here are some of the ones we’re pondering. 

  • What’s next for Félix Auger-Aliassime? After a gangbusters season, will he snare his first Slam? (Why not?!) 
  • Now that Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu are in tip-top shape, will they find their way back to the Top 20? To the Top 10? They’re currently No.40 and No.46, respectively.   
  • How will Australia feel about having Novak Djokovic in the house after last year’s antivax drama? In case you were wondering, he’s stuck to his guns as far as the jab.  
  • With double the points collected by World No.2 Ons Jabeur, will Iga Swiatek extend her reign over the WTA rankings? In 2022, she was 67–9 with 8 winner’s trophies.  
  • Will the 2023 Coupe des Mousquetaires end up in Rafa’s trophy case?
  • Will Wimbledon keep sidelining Russian and Belarusian players in solidarity with Ukraine? Will it get its WTA and ATP ranking points back?    
  • What will Serena and Roger’s second careers look like? Will Fed fly into Vancouver for his pet project Laver Cup?  
  • Who are the Canadian newcomers to watch? No.227 Gabriel Diallo has only 25 points to defend between now and the National Bank Open in August and could get on pace to enter the Top 100. And don’t forget about No.207 Alexis Galarneau.  
  • How long will King Carlos be in power? The 19-year-old is the youngest year-end No.1 in the history of the ATP computerized rankings.  
  • What will the National Bank Open look like without Eugène Lapierre? We’re all very grateful for the 22 years he dedicated to the tournament and feeling especially great about the NBO’s new era under Valérie Tétreault’s leadership. 

Happy New Year! Stay tuned for all the news from the courts and behind the scenes.  

Did you know?  

The first Canadian to compete in a final this season is Leylah Fernandez.  

In Auckland, New Zealand, she paired up with 37-year-old Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The duo was toppled in two sets.   

Photo : Martin Sidorjak
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