Photo by Peter Power/ Tennis Canada
We’re just about to arrive at our final stop!
With the National Bank Open presented by Rogers set to get underway on Friday, Via Rail presents the tournament’s four wild card recipients who will be added to the main draw as the ATP’s best are all aboard on their way to Montreal to take part in one of most iconic stops the tour has to offer.
On Thursday, Tennis Canada handed out the wild cards for the 2022 National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montréal. The four spots in the main draw of the Canadian ATP Masters 1000 went to Andy Murray (GBR) and David Goffin (BEL) and to Canadians Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC) and Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC).
Andy Murray, a three-time Canadian Open champion (2009, 2010, 2015), was awarded a wild card as part of a trade with the LTA, the governing body for tennis in Britain. This season, the former World No.1 has risen in the rankings from No.134 to No.50. In recent months, he fought in the finals in Sydney and Stuttgart and dismantled tough opponents, including No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, no. 17 Reilly Opelka, no. 22 Denis Shapovalov and no.29 Nikoloz Basilashvili, along the way.
No. 60 David Goffin of Belgium had an excellent run at Wimbledon just a few weeks ago. The former no. 7 made it to the quarterfinals at the All-England Club after ousting Frances Tiafoe (USA) and Sebastian Baez (Argentina). In Montreal, he will be focused on surpassing his best performance in Canada, which is an appearance in the round of 16.
British Columbia’s Vasek Pospisil (No.141) is gearing up for his 14th Canadian Open. In 2022, he took the title at the Challenger in Quimper and reached the quarterfinals of the Dallas Open. A semifinalist in Montreal in 2013 (6-4, 1-6, 7-6 loss to fellow Canadian Milos Raonic), Pospisil has caused his share of upsets in his career and should never be underestimated.
Finally, the fourth wild card went to Alexis Galarneau of Laval. Currently ranked No. 238, he has been on a steady climb since turning pro and starting out the year at No. 378. Last Sunday, he played in the final of the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, defeating the tournament’s top seed, Liam Broady (no. 131), en route to the championship match. Bolstered by his recent triumph, Galarneau will be competing in the main draw of the National Bank Open for the very first time in his young career.
Qualifying wild cards
Tennis Canada also announced the recipients of the qualifying wild cards. Jaden Weekes, a member of the National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers in Montréal, will enter the preliminary rounds. Currently ranked no.21 in the ITF World Tennis Tour junior rankings, the 17-year-old will be at his first National Bank Open. He will be joined by three other Canadians: Gabriel Diallo (Montreal, QC), Liam Draxl (Newmarket, ON) and Juan Carlos Aguilar (Montreal, QC), who currently compete in NCAA men’s tennis. Diallo and Draxl play for the University of Kentucky, and Aguilar is a member of the Horned Frogs at Texas Christian University. They are also at the Canadian Open for the first time in their careers.
Djokovic and Otte withdraw
Tennis Canada also announced that both Novak Djokovic (6) of Serbia and Oscar Otte (41) of Germany have withdrawn from the National Bank Open presented by Rogers. Benjamin Bonzi (51) of France and Nick Kyrgios (63) of Australia are now entered in the main draw.