The 2022 Canadian Open, the first 1000 event of the North American hardcourt swing, is set to kick off 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 side was won by Italian Camila Giorgi, who took down Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5, to claim her first WTA 1000 title.
Many top players will feature at this year's Canadian Open. Defending champion and World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and World No. 4 Carlos Alcaraz will make 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.
Apart from that, the Canadian Open will be graced by the likes of Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios to name a few. There are a few important players, however, who will not be seen on the Canadian courts this year.
Here's a look at the top eight players set to miss the Canadian Open:
#8 Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins had a thumping start to her season as she breezed past Iga Swiatek in the semifinals of the Australian Open to reach her first Grand Slam final but was unable to hold on to the momentum.
Things started looking bleak 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 did reach the women’s doubles semifinals at Wimbledon.
However, the World No. 9 has been forced to withdraw from the Canadian Open in Toronto due to the recurring neck injury.
#7 Lorenzo Musetti
Lorenzo Musetti has been steadily climbing up the rankings ever since his fourth-round display at the 2021 French Open, where he forced a fifth set on eventual champion Novak Djokovic before forfeiting the encounter.
Musetti won his first ATP title at the Hamburg European Open by defeating Carlos Alcaraz. He is now placed at a career-high ranking of World No. 30.
The Italian won’t be competing for the title in Montreal this year. In the 2021 edition of the Canadian Open, Musetti reportedly breached the Covid protocols and left the "controlled environment." He was thus expelled from the qualifying rounds at the tournament last year.
#6 Dominic Thiem
Former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem has been out of form ever since his wrist injury last year. The Austrian was off the courts for a year before making a competitive return.
He didn't enjoy immediate success on his comeback. He took a step forward when he made it to the quarterfinals of the Swedish Open and the Austrian Open Kitzbuhel and made the last four at the Swiss Open.
Thiem has opted out of the Canadian Open but features on the entry list for the Cincinnati Masters.
#5 Reilly Opelka
Reilly Opelka had a great run at the 2021 Canadian Open and made it to his first Masters finals at the event. En route to the final, Opelka outplayed Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, Lloyd Harris, Roberto Bautista Agut and Stefanos Tsitsipas. He eventually fell to Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at the last 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 set to miss this year’s edition. Just weeks prior, Opelka pulled out of the Atlanta Open citing an injury. The American has been bothered by his shoulder in recent times.
#4 Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev may have reached a career-high ranking of World No. 2, but titles have eluded the German tennis player this season.
Zverev’s conquest for a maiden Grand Slam title was cut short at Roland Garros after he suffered a freak injury to his ankle while battling it out in the semifinals against Rafael Nadal.
The 2017 Canadian Open champion has been missing in action ever since and is still recovering from his multi-ligament tear. He will not be contesting in Montreal at the Canadian Open.
#3 Victoria Azarenka
As has transpired, three-time Canadian Open semifinalist Victoria Azarenka won’t be entering Canada this year. Azarenka took to social media on Sunday to announce that her visa application was not approved and thus 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 due to my visa not being approved. It’s truly disappointing. It’s very sad to miss one of my favorite tournaments. I love to play in Canada with great fans and a place where I made many friends over the years. Good luck to everyone at the event! See you in Cincinnati!” revealed Azarenka.
This comes after the Belarusian was barred from competing at Wimbledon over her nationality, concerning the on-going Russia-Ukraine war.
The two-time Australian Open winner will next 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 his tennis achievements. The 2022 Wimbledon champion was deported from Australia in January owing to his refusal to take the Covid-19 vaccine. He thus could not defend his title.
The uncertainty over the Serb’s participation at the Canadian Open was put to rest on Thursday when officials announced the four-time champion’s withdrawal from the event.
In fact, Djokovic’s inclusion in any of the tournaments during the North American swing is in great doubt, including his entry at the US Open.
#1 Rafael Nadal
At the age of 36, Rafael Nadal has displayed some exceptional tennis this year. The former World No. 1 added two more Grand Slams to take his tally to 22, surpassing 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 journey was cut short due to an abdominal injury and he had to pull out of his semifinal against Nick Kyrgios.
The Spaniard has withdrawn from the Canadian Open as he recovers from the said injury.
"I have been practicing for a while now without serving and started with serves four days ago. Everything has been going well. However, yesterday, after my normal practice, I felt a slight bother on my abdominal and today it was still there. After speaking with my doctor, we prefer to take things in a conservative way and give a few more days before starting to compete,” said the five-time Canadian Open champion while speaking to Tennis Canada.
What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here