Leyla leads the return of Canada, Serena and Venus

It’s Toronto’s greatest ever dwell tennis present.

The Nationwide Financial institution Open introduced by Rogers is again in Ontario’s capital as the ladies’s sport’s superstars descend on the town for a marquee match of the yr.

With the return of on-site occasions at full capability for the primary time since 2019, it’s as soon as once more a way of normalcy on the sphere.

The grounds are absolutely operational once more, with elite tennis gamers fixing their sport on a number of aspect courts only a few meters away from the general public.

This yr encompasses a weighted discipline of girls with 19 of the highest 20 gamers competing, a number of Canadians within the draw, and the return of the Williams sisters.

Listed here are 5 storylines to trace because the Nationwide Financial institution Open will get underway:

Prime-ranked Canadian Leela Anne Fernandez returns to motion

She is the highest-ranked Canadian within the discipline, final yr’s US Open finalist, and one of many quickest opponents on the circuit.

Quebec’s Leyla Anne Fernandez was available for the occasion’s draw ceremony atop the CN Tower, as she helped unveil the participant discipline and potential matchups forward of the Nationwide Financial institution Open.

The Laval native shall be particularly desperate to play a couple of matches as she is competing on the tour for the primary time since she suffered a three-set quarterfinal loss to Italy’s Martina Trevison at Roland Garros after she fractured her leg. Greater than two months later, she was given the all-clear from her physician to compete once more.

“We are attempting very onerous to get again in form as quickly as doable,” Fernandez stated.

“It was a troublesome few weeks, however I’ve the inexperienced gentle to compete. My leg has absolutely recovered.”

The 19-year-old left-hander highlighted Monday night time’s session at Sobeys Stadium and sits in the identical bracket because the world primary. 1 iga switec.

Fernandez will open in opposition to the qualifiers.

iga above is a minimize

She has notably been the world primary participant, and is the highest seed and favourite on the Inga Swietec Nationwide Financial institution Open at age 22.

How are you going to not be whenever you compile a season like him?

Sweetek received the French Open for the second time, 4 WTA 1000, six singles titles in complete, and a sensational 37-match profitable streak, a stretch that will solely be halted at Wimbledon by Elise Cornet within the spherical of 16.

Sweetec has excelled on the onerous courtroom this yr as effectively, securing notable titles in Qatar, Indian Wells and Miami.

On the draw ceremony atop the CN Tower, the soft-spoken Polish star referred to his 2019 match in Toronto as a turning level in his profession.

“It was the primary match the place I felt I may do one thing particular,” Sweetek mirrored.

On the time, Sweetek was nonetheless an adolescent and outdoors the highest 50, however would produce spectacular tennis, notably defeating Caroline Wozniacki to advance to the Spherical of 16 earlier than dropping to Naomi Osaka.

Sweetek’s dynamic athleticism, heavy forehand and elite lateral motion shall be on show in his first predominant draw match on Wednesday night time.

2019 champion Bianca highlights the remainder of Canada’s sturdy discipline

It is a welcome return from Toronto, the positioning of their 2019 title.

Mississauga native Bianca Andreescu is an absolute fan throughout the girls’s tour, however particularly at her residence match the place she hoisted a historic title three seasons in the past.

Andreescu’s victory was a part of an enormous breakout season that noticed her seize a title at Indian Wells and later turn into the primary main singles champion in Canadian historical past by profitable the US Open from Flushing Meadows in the summertime.

Andreescu took a psychological break from the sport of tennis this season, because of well being points in 2020 and 2021, earlier than formally returning in April.

Since then, she has posted outstanding outcomes with a quarterfinal look on clay in Rome and a journey to the ultimate of the Unhealthy Homburg Open on grass in June.

Andreescu has a smorgasbord of talent on the courtroom which, when used, may make him one of the crucial thrilling and spectacular gamers of the tour.

After battling again points after dropping to American Shelby Rogers on the Silicon Valley Traditional in San Jose final week, there are considerations about his well being once more.

She meets Daria Kasatkina in an enthralling opening spherical match on Tuesday night time.

Elsewhere, Toronto native Rebecca Marino makes a comeback and appears to proceed her wonderful hard-court type.

She reached the quarterfinals of the Citi Open final week, posted spectacular victories over Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic, and returned to the highest 100 of the rankings.

She meets Zheng Qinwen of China within the first spherical.

Canadians Carol Zhao and Catherine Sebov dropped out of the singles contestants.

Ottawa’s Gabriella Dabrowski will compete in doubles.

She’s going to attempt to defend her title from final yr in Montreal as she performs in opposition to Giuliana Olmos of Mexico.

Slam champions Radukanu, Rybakina to get acquainted with Toronto crowd

This yr’s occasion is filled with main expertise and appears no additional than a pair of Slam winners who’ve but to fulfill tennis spectators in Toronto.

Britain’s Emma Radukanu, who was really born in Toronto, is competing on the Nationwide Financial institution Open for the primary time in her profession.

The 19-year-old memorably scored essentially the most shocking Grand Slam runs in tennis historical past, going by means of qualifying final yr and profitable 10 consecutive matches to seize the US Open.

She’s going to carry her highly effective groundstrokes and courtroom tenacity in an attention-grabbing opening spherical match in opposition to final season’s match winner, Camilla Giorgi, in Montreal.

Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybkina is ready to play her second occasion since profitable Wimbledon, and regardless of her calm, introverted nature, maintains a robust, off-court baseline sport and lethal serve.

She begins her marketing campaign in opposition to a qualifier.

Different stars to look at this week embody Estonia’s Annette Kontaveit, Spain’s Paula Badosa, Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Tunisia’s current Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabur.

Legends Serena and Venus 6. I contact down

They’ve a mixed 30 Grand Slam singles titles between them and are essentially the most iconic sister pair in tennis historical past.

American Serena and Venus Williams have each returned to Toronto to compete within the Nationwide Financial institution Open introduced by Rogers.

For Serena, it is a welcome return to a phenomenon she usually feels snug with.

She is a three-time Nationwide Financial institution Open champion and was a finalist in her closing look in Toronto in 2019.

He had restricted match play this season, with just one singles match below his belt – a heartbroken 7–5, 1–6, 7–6 loss within the first spherical to Concord Tan at Wimbledon.

Serena has landed in 1 / 4 of the sphere.

She begins her occasion in opposition to a qualifier on Monday, whereas a win will put together her to face both two-time Slam winner Victoria Azarenka or Tokyo gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

Venus Williams, 42, can also be hungry for extra competitors after sitting out the season.

Final week, she misplaced her first singles match of 2022 in a troublesome three-set encounter with Canadian Rebecca Marino on the Citi Open in Washington.

Venus was awarded a wild card to Toronto and can make her debut in opposition to Switzerland’s Jill Tekman on Monday.

For Canadian followers within the capital, this might be the final likelihood to catch a glimpse of two all-time greats.

Even on the finish of their careers, Serena and Venus overtake tennis.

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