TORONTO — The undisputed Greatest of All Time said goodbye in one of her final tournaments ever on Wednesday in front of an appreciative Toronto crowd. And over in Montreal in the men’s side of the National Bank Open, the top 3 seeds also said goodbye (for now) after suffering upsets.
Now in Day 4 of action, there are just two Canadians in action in their home tournaments. Doubles specialist Gaby Dabrowski of Ottawa, On., has advanced to the doubles quarter-final, but she and partner Giuliana Olmos have the day off. Let’s take a look at the must-see matches of the day in the round of 16 (all times listed are ET).
Bianca Andreescu (Canada) vs. Qinwen Zheng (China); Centre court draw opens at 1 p.m. and theirs is the third match scheduled.
On Wednesday night, Andreescu earned her second straight gutsy three-set victory of her home tournament, taking down Alize Cornet of France in a match the Canadian later told reporters was “very, very tough.” The Mississauga, Ont., native hasn’t had an easy road to this Round of 16, but she’s made it here thanks to her powerful groundstrokes, the broad variance in her game and a fighting spirit that’s been incredibly entertaining to watch.
Now up for Andreescu is Zheng, the 19-year-old who earlier this year reached the fourth round of the French Open before losing to the eventual champion and current world No. 1, Iga Swiatek.
This will mark the first meeting between Andreescu and Zheng. Andreescu, 22, who won this tournament three years ago in Toronto, is making her comeback this season after taking time off due to injury and a mental health break.
Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada) vs. Cameron Norrie (Great Britain), not before 4 p.m.
The sixth seeded, Montreal-born Auger-Aliassime earned a two-set win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka on Tuesday, and fired a whopping 17 aces in the process. At one point in the match the 22-year-old Auger-Aliassime stretched out both arms and soaked up the crowd’s adoration.
And the bracket has opened up significantly for the hometown kid (his parents live about 10 minutes from the stadium), with the top three seeds dispatched on Wednesday. Auger-Aliassime will have to get past Norrie, a four-time winner on Tour, in a rematch of last week. Norrie won that one, but Auger-Aliassime told reporters he’s heading into this match with confidence and optimism. And surely a heck of a lot of crowd support.
Iga Swiatek (Poland) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil), following the 1 p.m. match on Centre Court
Swiatek, the world No. 1, absolutely breezed through her opening match here on Wednesday, and once Swiatek gets rolling, she’s difficult to stop. The 21-year-old had an incredible 37-game, six tournament title win-streak going until Wimbledon.
She’ll face Haddad Maia, who played spoiler when she knocked out Canada’s Leylah Fernandez on Tuesday.
Nick Kyrgios (Australia) vs. Alex de Minaur (Great Britain), not before 3 p.m.
On Wednesday, Kyrgios took out the tournament’s defending champion and top seed, Daniil Medvedev, in three sets. Kyrgios is playing some of the best and most consistent tennis of his career, and he’s riding an eight-match winning streak.
He’ll take on de Minaur, who knocked off Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the first round. It marks the first-ever meeting between the two players.
Full women’s schedule in Toronto
Full men’s schedule in Montreal