Tough opening round for the Canadian players
Montreal, August 4, 2018 – The Rogers Cup presented by National Bank official draw took place on Friday at the Espace C2 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel. Eugenie Bouchard (Montreal, QC) will face a tough opponent in the first round in Elise Mertens, the tournament’s fourteenth seed.
Several storylines promise to be quite interesting, including the return of Serena Williams, who is set to play in Montreal for the first time since 2014. She takes on former world no. 11 Alize Cornet of France. She actually defeated Williams on three separate occasions back in 2014, but the American still leads their head to head with four victories, the most recent match at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Williams would face three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the second round.
World No. 1 Simona Halep has a tough quarter of the draw, with possible opponents in Venus Williams, Caroline Garcia and Maria Sharapova. The 2016 Rogers Cup champion does not have an easy road to defending her title in Montreal. A feature first round match between Kristina Mladenovic and Victoria Azarenka promises to be an entertaining one, as both players are looking to regain top form.
On the Canadian side, both Eugenie Bouchard and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON) have draw tricky opponents. The Montreal native will hope to continue of her recent successful streak, as she recently reached the semi-finals at the WTA International tournament in Gstaad. Her first round opponent is the fourteenth seed Elise Mertens, who will be competing in the semi-finals at the WTA Premier event in San Jose. For her part, Zhao will face Kiki Bertens, the 2018 Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
It was also announced on Friday that Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) would receive a wild card into the main draw, after fellow Canadian Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. Abanda is set to face a qualifier in the opening round. There are also a number of Canadians to look out for in the qualifying draw, as eight players are set to compete for a spot in the main draw, including Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC), Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) and 15-year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC).
IGA Family Weekend continues on August 4 and 5
Qualifying matches will begin on Saturday as part of the IGA Family Weekend. Until August 5, fans will have free access to the Rogers Cup site where they can see their favourite players in action as well as participate in a variety of scheduled activities including the Ball Hockey Challenge presented by Knapper and a friendly soccer match against members of the Montreal Impact. The matches will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Confirmed players include Alex Burrows, Xavier Ouellet, Antoine Roussel and Thomas Chabot for the hockey match and Evan Bush, Rod Fanni and Samuel Piette for the soccer match.