On Thursday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Tennis Canada named the four athletes nominated to represent Team Canada in tennis at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games from August 5 to 21.
The athletes selected are Eugenie Bouchard, Gabriela Dabrowski, and London 2012 Olympians Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic.
Bouchard, Pospisil and Raonic all qualified for the singles competitions based on their ATP World Tour and WTA rankings as of June 6, 2016. Raonic is the highest-ranked of the group at No. 7. Bouchard sits at No. 48 and Pospisil is No. 44 in singles and No. 20 in doubles. Based on their combined ranking, Pospisil and Raonic also qualified to team up for the men’s doubles event.
Canada was also awarded one additional doubles entry by the International Tennis Federation on Thursday, granting a final qualification place to Bouchard and Dabrowski in the women’s doubles competition. Dabrowski has become a doubles specialist on the professional circuit in recent years with a world ranking of No. 44.
Raonic has had a very strong 2016 season thus far, reaching his second Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in January after winning his eighth career ATP title in Brisbane. He also made two other finals at events in Indian Wells and London. Pospisil continues to be one of the world’s best doubles players, capturing a title at a tournament in Rotterdam and reaching two Masters 1000 finals so far this year at Indian Wells and Rome with American partner Jack Sock.
On the women’s side, Bouchard is in the midst of a bounce-back campaign that has seen her reach tour event finals at Kuala Lumpur and Hobart while Dabrowski recently captured her third career WTA doubles trophy at Mallorca with Spanish partner Maria José Martinez Sánchez.
This will be the second Olympic Games for both Pospisil and Raonic, who competed at London 2012, and the first for Bouchard and Dabrowski. Canada’s only Olympic tennis medal was won at Sydney 2000 where Daniel Nestor and Sébastien Lareau won gold.
All nominated athletes are full-time professionals on the tennis circuit, competing in WTA and ATP World Tour events on a weekly basis. Canadian fans will be able to see them live before they head to Rio when they compete on home soil at the prestigious Masters 1000 and Premier 5 Tour events the week prior. The women will be in Montreal from July 22 to 31 while the men will participate in the Toronto tournament from July 23 to 31.
The Olympic tennis competition will take place at the Olympic Tennis Centre August 6-14 with five events: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. The entry list for mixed doubles will also be based on ranking but will be determined via an on-site sign-in the week of the event and will be comprised of athletes/teams that are already participating in one of the other four draws.
At Rio 2016, Canada expects to field a team of more than 315 athletes.
The tennis team which will represent Canada at Rio 2016 includes:
Eugenie Bouchard, Westmount, QC – Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles
Gabriela Dabrowski, Ottawa, ON – Women’s Doubles
Vasek Pospisil, Vernon, BC – Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles
Milos Raonic, Thornhill, ON – Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Rio 2016 Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee | Olympic.ca