Pegula, Gauff Headline WTA Washington Field; Brady Back, Azarenka v Svitolina
The North American summer hard court swing officially kicks off this week in Washington with a loaded field for the new 500 level stop.
Former champion and American No. 1 Jessica Pegula leads the way along with countrywomen Coco Gauff, Madison Keys and the return to Jennifer Brady.
Now 28, Brady rose to prominence in 2017 making two Slam fourth rounds. She would reached the Australian Open final in 2021 and the US Open semifinal in 2020, but a left foot injury and right knee surgery sidelined her for two years, since 2021 Cincinnati.
She made her return last week at at an ITF level event in Granby, Canada, and now will make her tour-level return against Anhelina Kalinina.
Top seeds in the event are: 1 Jessica Pegula, 2 Caroline Garcia, 3 Cori Gauff, 4 Maria Sakkari, 5 Daria Kasatkina, 6 Belinda Bencic, 7 Madison Keys, 8 Liudmila Samsonova.
No. 1 Pegula is projected to meet 5 Kasatkina in the quarters, No. 4 Sakkari – 7 Keys, No. 6 Bencic – 3 Gauff, and 8 seed Samsonova – 2 Garcia in the bottom quarter.
The semifinals could see Jessica Pegula-Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia-Cori Gauff.
The top seeded Pegula opens with a bye then gets the winner of Sofia Kenin and a qualifier.
The second seeded Garcia also has a bye then gets the winner of Bianca Andreescu and Marta Kostyuk.
Defending champion Liudmila Samsonova will face Danielle Collins in the opening round.
Among the notable first round matches: Elina Svitolina-Victoria Azarenka, Elise Mertens-Daria Kasatkina, Qinwen Zheng-Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic-Anastasia Potapova.
Svitolina and Azarenka will meet Monday night.
Former champions: Pegula, Stephens, Samsonova
Last year, Liudmila Samsonova defeated (6) Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
LAST 10 WASHINGTON CHAMPIONS/FINALS
2022 Liudmila Samsonova d Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
2019 Jessica Pegula d Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2
2018 Svetlana Kuznetsova d Donna Vekic 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2
2017 Ekaterina Makarova d Julia Goerges 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-0
2016 Yanina Wickmayer d Lauren Davis 6-4, 6-2
2015 Sloane Stephens d Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-2
2014 Svetlana Kuznetsova d Kurumi Nara 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
2013 Magdalena Rybarikova d Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 7-6(2)
2012 Magdalena Rybarikova d Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-1
2011 Nadia Petrova d Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-2
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