History was made Friday when three Canadians – Milos Raonic, Eugenie Bouchard and Vasek Pospisil – were named to the Australian Open’s opening draw. The tournament kicks off Sunday evening in Melbourne.
Bouchard, hailing from Westmount, Quebec, is coming off the most successful season of her young career. The 19-year-old was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year and the Canadian Press female athlete of the year after jumping from No. 144 in the world to No. 32. Now she has her sights set on her first WTA tournament win.
“I want to win a title (in 2014), that’s for sure,” Bouchard recently told reporters. “I’ll be happy with any title but the bigger the tournament is the better it will be. And my ultimate objective is a Grand Slam.”
Bouchard, the tournament’s No. 30 seed, is set as a -3333 favorite in Sunday’s match with Hao Chen Tang.
Raonic is ranked highest among the Canucks, sitting at No. 11 as he gets set for his first round match against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, ranked No. 80 in the world. Sports Interaction currently has the Thornhill, Ontario native set as a -2500 favorite in that match. The 23-year-old is also set at +4400 to win the entire tournament, but it’s going to be tough with Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Porto in his section.
Pospisil is another Canuck to keep an eye on. He is ranked as the No. 29 player in the world and is pegged as a -217 favorite in his first-round match against Samuel Groth. The Vancouver native could be poised for a big season and a strong start in January would go a long way in helping him build confidence in singles play.
Novak Djokovic heads into the Australian Open as the -141 tournament favorite, followed by Nadal (+260), Andy Murray (+725), Del Porto (+1200), and Roger Federer (+1700).