Toronto draw: Stacked top quarter could be seeds graveyard
The field for the Toronto Masters is just about as strong as it could be while the draw has made the top quarter a perilous place to be for seeded players.
In Toronto, the top eight seeds will enjoy a bye into the second round.
The seedings are just about in line with current rankings with world No 1 Iga Swiatek heading the field as the top seed.
Swiatek will face either Veronika Kudermentova or American Shelby Rogers.
Should the French Open champion get beyond that first hurdle she might face home hope and 13th seed Leylah Fernandez in the Round of 16.
Fernandez was given the go-ahead to start her comeback to the WTA Tour on home soil.
“Doctor told me just yesterday that I have the green light to play. My foot is 100% healed.” –@leylahfernandez
Leylah opens her #NBO22 campaign against a qualifier and could meet top seed Iga Świątek in round three pic.twitter.com/ECzHbibFKM
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) August 5, 2022
The Canadian teen will start her tournament with a first-round clash against a qualifier.
Fernandez can expect a tough second-round match regardless of whether Martina Trevisan or Beatriz Haddad Maia progress from the bracket above.
The bottom half of the top quarter could be equally perilous for the seeds.
Eighth seed Garbine Muguruza will face either Naomi Osaka or Kaia Kanepi in her opening match.
If that section is to go by seeding Belinda Bencic will need to fight her way past former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka and then either a qualifier or 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
The second quarter could give us a blockbuster last-eight clash between Maria Sakkari of Greece and Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur.
Sakkari is guaranteed to meet a Grand Slam winner in her opening match with Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin battling for the right to meet the World No 3 in the Round of 32.
Jabeur will want to avoid complacency against lower-ranked opponents with home hope Rebecca Marino taking on China’s Qinwen Zheng to determine the World No 5’s second-round opponent.
In the last 16 Sakkari would face one of Amanda Anisimova, Carol Zhao, Barbora Krejcikova or 14th seed Karolina Pliskova.
Bracketed to face Jabeur in the third round are the foursome of Russian No 1 Daria Kasatkina, former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and French pairing Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia.
The US No 1 Jessica Pegula is on a Round of 16 collision course with the top-ranked Brit Emma Raducanu.
Raducanu has the tougher path to that potential match facing Camila Giorgi in the first round with a match against either Anna Bondar or Elis Mertens who are both top 50 players.
Pegula, Raducanu or whoever comes through their section would face Paula Badosa in the quarterfinal if the Spaniard can string back-to-back wins together.
Badosa’s first opponent will be either Canada’s own Katherin Sebov or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putinseva.
Meanwhile, 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko could have a tough time making her way to the Round of 16 as she opens her tournament against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina and is bracketed alongside two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova who tackles Allison Riske in her opener.
Anett Kontaveit is seeded second, and her bye will allow her to take in the opening round match between Jill Teichmann and Venus Williams which will determine whom she will face first up.
Resurgent Simona Halep might block Kontaveit’s path to a potential quarter-final against Aryna Sabalenka or Coco Gauff.
Sabalenka and Gauff are on a path that would see them meet in the last 16.
However, if Gauff beats a qualifier in Round One she may face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in just her second match in Toronto.
Ons Jabeur’s ‘season is just starting now’ after injury woes
Ons Jabeur ready to go again.
WTA accused of ignoring request for meeting with Ukrainian players – ‘Just silence’
Ukrainian players want to meet with the WTA board.
Frances Tiafoe calls on rigid tennis to get with the times in order ‘to bring younger fans to the game’
Do you think tennis fans should be able to come and go and speak during matches?
Former world No 1 assesses Carlos Alcaraz’s chances of winning 2023 French Open
Can Carlos Alcaraz beat both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros?
Marcelo Rios not a fan of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as they are not ‘entertaining,’ describes tennis as ‘boring’
Marcelo Rios feels Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are “not entertaining” on the court.
Carlos Alcaraz described as the ‘Mike Tyson of tennis’ due to ‘brutal power and speed’
Carlos Alcaraz 🤝 Mike Tyson.
Victoria Azarenka rebuffs claims of tension in locker room, fires back at Iga Swiatek over Ukraine comments
Victoria Azarenka has hit back at Iga Swiatek over her comments.
Stefanos Tsitsipas believes in the message of ubuntu
Stefanos Tsitsipas believes in the message of ubuntu.
Andy Murray disappointed with his level after early exit on quicker Miami court
Murray was beaten in two sets by world number 76 Dusan Lajovic.
Rafael Nadal ‘confirmed’ for Monte Carlo Masters
Rafael Nadal looks set for a tilt as his 12th Monte Carlo Masters title.