RAONIC OPENS AGAINST STRUFF, BOUCHARD FACES SUAREZ NAVARRO… AT WIMBLEDON

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The singles draws are set for Wimbledon 2017 and it will feature at least five Canadians, Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON), Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC), Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC), Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) and the young rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON).

Raonic, currently world no. 7, is the sixth seed at the tournament and will face world no. 50 Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the opening round. The Canadian is in the bottom half of the draw, alongside both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Raonic, the finalist last year at Wimbledon, has another tough path this year, which could potentially include a Round of 16 encounter with NextGen ATP front runner Alexander Zverev and a quarter-final showdown against the seven-time champion Roger Federer. Despite making an early exit at Queen’s Club last week, Raonic has had a strong 2017 season, reaching the finals at Delray Beach and Istanbul.

Pospisil, who has been climbing the ATP rankings since the start of the year, will be tested early in the tournament, facing world no. 8 Dominic Thiem of Austria in the first round. Although he is currently ranked no. 75, Pospisil has achieved a career-high ranking of no. 25 in 2014. The Canadian is no stranger to success on the courts at the All England Club, having gone on an impressive run in 2015, where he was eventually halted in the quarter-finals by Andy Murray.

For her part, Bouchard will open against Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who is currently ranked no. 26 in the world. The 23-year-old will be looking to repeat her performance from Wimbledon 2014, which saw her reach the final of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. The Canadian, currently ranked world no. 61, suffered an ankle injury earlier this year, while on the final stretch of the clay court season.

Meanwhile, Shapovalov will be making his first Grand Slam main draw appearance, after receiving a wild card for the tournament. The 18-year-old is currently sitting at a career-high ranking of no. 164 and recently defeated world no. 47 Kyle Edmond in the first round at Queen’s Club, before falling to Tomas Berdych in a tight second round match. The Canadian will face Jerzy Janowicz, world no. 141, in the opening round at Wimbledon. The two had previously played each other in the semi-finals of the Guadalajara Challenger earlier this year, with Shapovalov getting the better of his opponent.

In qualifying action on Friday, François Abanda (Montreal, QC) won her final match and moves on to her second consecutive main draw appearance at a Grand Slam. Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) is one win away from qualifying for the main draw at Wimbledon 2017.

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