Nine of the Top 10 are in Montreal next week for the Canadian Open, where world No. 1 Serena Williams will make her first appearance since Wimbledon.
Local “favorite,” Canadian Genie Bouchard, enters the event amidst a tough 2016 campaign, and has been getting ripped by the local media entering the event. The outlet Le Devoir led with the headline, “Eugenie Bouchard: it’s so difficult to like her,” and noted that Bouchard’s reputation among players and journalists is “petite baveuse,” a Quebec expression translating roughly to “mean and pretentious.” Ouch.
Here is a breakdown of the four quarters of the draw:
Seeds: (1) Serena Williams, (8) Carla Suarez Navarro, (11) Dominika Cibulkova, (15) Johanna Konta
Floaters: Genie Bouchard, Lucie Safarova, Yanina Wickmayer
Notes: Serena and Suarez Navarro receive opening-round byes…Bouchard and Safarova will square off first round with the winner likely to face (11) Cibulkova…Serena will start against the winner of Monica Puig and a qualifier…Suarez Navarro will likely start against the hot-handed Wickmayer.
Seeds: (4) Aggie Radwanska, (6) Venus Williams, (10) Madison Keys, (16) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Floaters: (WC) Caroline Garcia
Notes: Venus could start against the riser Garcia…To get to Venus, Keys will have to beat Elena Vesnina and either Ekaterina Makarova or compatriot Madison Brengle…Radwanska should have few problems here getting to Venus or Keys in the fourth round.
Seeds: (3) Garbine Muguruza, (5) Simona Halep, (12) Petra Kvitova, (14) Karolina Pliskova
Floaters: Alize Cornet, Andrea Petkovic, Daria Gavrilova, Annika Beck
Notes: Grand Slam champs and young floaters make this the toughest quarter…Kvitova will start against a qualifier then meet the winner of veterans Cornet-Petkovic…Muguruza after a bye will start against the winner of the young gun match-up of Gavrilova-Beck…Halep after a bye will face either a qualifier or Kristina Mladenovic….Halep retired in last year’s final to Swiss Belina Bencic.
Seeds: (2) Angie Kerber, (7) Roberta Vinci, (9) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (13) Sam Stosur
Floaters: Sloane Stephens, Heather Watson
Notes: Vinci after a bye will face Stephens if the American can get by a qualifier…Kuznetsova starts against Watson…Kerber looking at Stosur in the third round.
If Serena is motivated the title seems hers for the taking.
Wildcards were awarded to Garcia and Canucks Francoise Abanda and Aleksandra Wozniak.
Notable tournament withdrawals, including three former No. 1s, were Victoria Azarenka, Timea Bacsinszky, defending champ Belinda Bencic, Jelena Jankovic, Coco Vandeweghe and Caroline Wozniacki.
Former champs in the field are Radwanska (2014), Serena Williams (2013,’11,’01), and Kvitova (2012). Serena is a win away from tying Monica Seles and Chris Evert as the only four-time Canadian Open champions in the Open Era.
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