Loaded top quarter features Swiatek, Serena, Azarenka, Osaka, Muguruza

The draw is set for the first of two hard-court WTA 1000 events this summer. World no. 1 Iga Swiatek leads a stacked field at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, but she has a tough road ahead with four other Grand Slam champions in her quarter of the draw.

Toronto: Full Draw | Order of Play

Swiatek’s projected quarterfinal opponent in her first hard-court tournament of the summer is No. 8 seed GarbiƱe Muguruza, but their loaded quarter also features unseeded Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka. Williams, playing her first hard-court event in 18 months, opens against a qualifier and could face the winner of the Round 1 match between Azarenka and 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic.

Also present in Swiatek’s section is No.13 seed and home favorite Leylah Fernandez, who proclaimed herself fully fit at Friday’s draw ceremony after a foot injury sustained at Roland Garros took her out of Wimbledon. She, too, opens against a qualifier and could be Swiatek’s third-round foe.

At the bottom of the quarter, Muguruza will face either four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka or Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in her first match of the summer hard-court season. The Spaniard withdrew from this week’s event in San Jose with injury.

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There are actually nine major-winners in the top half overall. In the second quarter, Czechs Karolina Pliskova, seeded No. 14, and 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova will clash to start, while 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu is the first foe for No. 11 seed Daria Kasatkina. No.3 seed Maria Sakkari, who’s a potential semifinal foe for Swiatek along with No.5 seed Ons Jabeur, opens against the winner of the all-American opening-round match between 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin .

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On the bottom half of the draw, No.2 seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit opens against the winner of the match between Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann and wild card Venus Williams. Williams played her first match of the summer this week at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, where she was beaten in Round 1 by Canada’s Rebecca Marino.

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Other bottom-half highlights include a Round 1 match between No.9 seed Emma Radaucanu and defending champion Camila Giorgi of Italy, and a potential second-round meeting between No.10 seed Coco Gauff and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. Both face qualifiers in their openers.

Nine of the Top 10 in this week’s rankings are entered in the sixth WTA 1000 event of the season. World No.9 Danielle Collins is the lone omission. She withdrew last week with a continuing neck injury.

Main-draw play at Sobeys Stadium begins on Monday, Aug. 8.

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