Only one Canadian has ever won a tennis Grand Slam, with Bianca Andreescu reigning supreme at the 2019 US Open, but there will be a few lively outsiders hailing from the country at the upcoming Australian Open.
Andreescu, now ranked 92nd in the world, will be one of those hoping for a resurgence and she will be joined in the women’s draw by world number 35 Leylah Fernandez.
The 21-year-old Fernandez caused a stir when finishing runner-up to Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open and time is still very much on her side for her to make an impact.
In the men’s draw, all eyes will be on world No. 29 Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is a former Grand Slam semifinalist and two-time quarterfinalist.
Auger-Aliassime is coming off a down year but the 23-year-old is a precocious talent with better days to come.
The other main Canadian hope in the men’s competition is Denis Shapovalov, who has been injured since Wimbledon.
However, Shapovalov is a former Australian Open quarterfinalist and is still only 24 years of age, which means it would be dangerous to write him off.
Up-and-coming talent Gabriel Diallo, former Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil are three more male players that will be hoping to have a fruitful run in Melbourne.
Like many young players, Fernandez has been blighted by inconsistencies, but she remains a leading prospect and has shown she is capable of competing at the top.
Fernandez was relatively unknown before making the final of the US Open in 2021, in what was only her second full season on the WTA Tour.
The Canadian had defeated then world number three Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina and second seed Aryna Sabalenka before bumping into British star Raducanu in the final.
Her best previous effort in a Grand Slam prior to that was a run to the third round of the French Open, so that was a remarkable achievement given she was only 19 years of age at the time.
Fernandez has made the quarterfinals of the French Open and won three titles on the WTA Tour since then, highlighting the talent she possesses.
With a bit of luck with the draw, the Montreal native could enjoy a deep run at the Australian Open, where she was unfortunate to bump into fourth seed Caroline Garcia in the second round last year.
Fernandez is +8000 to claim her maiden Grand Slam crown in Melbourne next month and the current world No. 35, who was once as high as world No. 13, should continue to rise up the rankings.
Many may have expected Auger-Aliassime to have made a Grand Slam final by now, especially given the potential he appeared to possess when making the US Open semifinals in 2021.
FAA has made only one Grand Slam quarterfinals since but that did come at the Australian Open, where he has made at least the fourth round in each of the last three seasons.
That bodes well for another fast start to the 2024 campaign and there is no reason why the five-time ATP Tour tournament champion can’t enjoy another deep run in Melbourne.
Auger-Aliassime is still only 23 years of age and, standing at 6-foot-4, he has the power and athleticism to reach the top of the game.
The Monte Carlo resident may be relying on a few of the heavyweights to falter in order to challenge for the title as he is +10000 to win the Australian Open
Injuries have been holding Shapovalov back ever since he was beaten by Russia’s Roman Safiullin in the fourth round of last year’s Wimbledon.
However, the Canadian has been working hard to regain his fitness and, if he can rediscover his peak form, then he could pose a challenge to the tournament favourites.
The 24-year-old has made at least the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam on three occasions, which includes at the Australian Open in 2022. Only twice in his last 11 Grand Slam appearances has he been knocked out before the third round.
That goes some way to highlighting his capabilities and it is worth remembering that he has finished runner-up in a Masters 1000 final, having lost to Novak Djokovic at the 2019 Paris Masters.
Shapovalov is extremely athletic and his pace and power makes him a formidable opponent for anyone so, with a bit more luck with injuries, he should be capable of one day pushing for Grand Slam glory.
He is +15000 to win the 2024 Australian Open, although he may need to blow away some cobwebs given the length of time he has been absent.
Andreescu is the shortest priced Canadian in the Australian Open betting at +5000 and the 23-year-old will know she has what it takes to claim Grand Slam glory having won the US Open in 2019.
Not only did she become the first Canadian to win a major singles title, but she was also the first teenager to do so since Maria Sharapova in 2006.
Times have been tough of late and she has failed to go beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam since, but there have been more encouraging signs of late thanks to Andreescu winning 15 WTA matches in 2023.
If fully healthy, Andreescu could be competitive in the first major of 2024.