All eyes will be on the Canadian Open this week as the tennis extravaganza solely shifts to the hardcourts of North America. Top tennis players will battle it out in one of the biggest tournaments of the year and also condition themselves to put their best foot forward at the US Open at the end of the month.
The men's event, part of the ATP Masters 1000 series, will be held in Montreal from August 8-14 and the women's tournament, a WTA 1000 competition, will be hosted in Toronto during the same week.
Canadian Open - Omnium Banque Nationale (Men's)
The men's event received a huge blow last week as five-time champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament due to fitness concerns. Former World No. 1 Novak Djokovic also won't be a part of the main draw due to his unvaccinated status against COVID-19 hampering his ability to travel freely.
Dannil Medvedev will enter the tournament on the back of a title-winning run at the Los Cabos Open and is also the defending champion in Montreal.
Jannik Sinner and Nick Kyrgios are also coming off title-winning campaigns at the Umag Open and Citi Open respectively. They'll fancy their chances of making a deep run in the event and stake their claim for the title.
There is no shortage of star value in the tournament as they will be joined by Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, Matteo Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud and Nick Kyrgios, among others.
Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz round out the top eight seeds in Montreal.
Canadian Open - National Bank Open (Women's)
One of the most decorated players of all time, Serena Williams will return to the Canadian Open after three years. She finished runner-up at the event during her last outing in 2019 and has won the tournament thrice in her career (2001, 2011, 2013).
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Anett Kontaveit, Maria Sakkari and Paula Badosa will all battle it out for the title in Toronto.
After early exits from Wimbledon and Warsaw, Swiatek will be looking to find her best form and get back to winning ways ahead of the US Open. Kontaveit will enter the tournament on the back of a runner-up finish in Hamburg and a quarterfinal exit in Prague. They will be the top two seeds in the women's draw.
Seven-time Major winner Venus Williams will also continue her stint at the Canadian Open. She will enter the event as a wildcard after a tough first-round loss at the Citi Open last week.
Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu, Elena Rybakina, Belinda Bencic and Coco Gauff are the other players to track. Bianca Andreescu, who won the event in 2019 and French Open quarterfinalist Leylah Fernandez will be the local favorites for the WTA 1000 event.
Two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka was forced to withdraw after not being allowed to enter the country due to visa issues. Silicon Valley Classic runner-up Shelby Rogers has also opted not to participate at the event, likely due to fatigue.
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