How special is September 16 to Gaby Dabrowski? It just may give her birthday of April 1 a run for its money.

The doubles world No. 7 returned to her home city of Ottawa for the first time since November 2019. And not just for any occasion, but one that celebrates everything she’s accomplished as a standout tennis player who benefited from access to free public courts.

On Thursday at Ottawa City Hall, September 16 was declared Gaby Dabrowski Day by Jim Watson, mayor of the Canadian capital city.

“Coming back and seeing where it all began is very humbling,” Dabrowski said.


Dabrowski, a two-time mixed doubles champion and Wimbledon doubles finalist, is coming off a hot stretch of results. After making her second Olympic team and competing in Tokyo, Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani reached three consecutive finals, finishing runner-up in San Jose and Cincinnati while triumphing on home soil at Montréal in between.

With Stefani by her side, Dabrowski joined compatriots Leylah Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime in providing Canada plenty of bright spots at Flushing Meadows. She and Stefani were viable contenders to win the women’s doubles event, until the Brazilian suffered a mid-match injury during a first-set tiebreaker in their semifinal against Americans Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

While her North American hard-court swing ended in the harshest of ways, the nostalgia of being back home helped remind Dabrowski of how far the 29-year-old has come and what she wants others to take away from having a day named in her honor.

“It is all about getting a little bit better every day,” she stated. “I think that is a good message for anyone picking up a racquet or try to get better at anything... it is just step-by-step.”