Just about every top player excluding the injured Maria Sharapova, and including both Williams sisters, have turned out for the Rogers Cup in Toronto, the first major stop on the road to the US Open.
ROGERS CUP PRESENTED BY NATIONAL BANK
Toronto, Canada; Surface: hard
Seeds: Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Roberta Vinci, Maria Kirilenko, Samantha Stosur, Kirsten Flipkens, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic
Floaters: Francesca Schiavone, Venus Williams, Varvara Lepchenko, Lucie Safarova, Dominika Cibulkova, Eugenie Bouchard, Alisa Kleybanova
Top Quarter: Serena after a bye could open against the Slam winner Schiavone, and face sister Venus in the third round. Tough start for No. 12 seed Kirsten Flipkens against Venus and for No. 9 Wozniacki against Lepchenko. Likely Serena vs. Bartoli quarterfinal.
2nd Quarter: No. 3 seed Radwanska after a bye a tricky start against either Yanina Wickmayer or Laura Robson. No. 8 Errani after a bye to likely start against the big-hitting Safarova. Radwanska vs. toss-up in the quarters, Errani not likely to make it.
3rd Quarter: The No. 4 Na, who hasn’t been seen much lately, will after a bye likely start against big hitter Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. No. 8 Kerber after a bye will likely begin against the hot-handed Cibulkova. Former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic and veteran Flavia Pennetta are also lurking in this quarter, which should see Na and Kerber play it out to a quarterfinal meeting.
Bottom Quarter: No. 2 Azarenka begins with a bye, but in the third round lurks former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. No. 6 Kvitova who has been suffering some shaky play of late will after a bye start against either Bouchard or Kleybanova. Look for upsets out of this quarter, which also contains Stosur and American riser Jamie Hampton.
Notes: Wildcards went to Azarenka, Bartoli and Canadians Bouchard, Stephanie Dubois and Sharon Fichman…Joining Sharapova in pulling from the event were Simona Halep, Bojana Jovanovski, Kaia Kanepi, Sabine Lisicki, Romina Oprandi, Peng Shuai (visa issue), and Nadia Petrova…Former Slam champ Svetlana Kuznetsova had to play the qualifying, along with Americans Madison Keys and Bethanie Mattek-Sands…Kvitova beat Na in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Kvitova (2012), Serena Williams (2011,’01), Wozniacki (2010), and Ivanovic (2006).
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