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Loaded upper quarter with Swiatek, Serena, Azarenka, Osaka, Muguruza

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The draw is set for the first of two WTA 1000 hard court events this summer. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek leads a stacked field at the National Bank Open hosted by Rogers, but she has a tough road ahead of her with four other Grand Slam champions in her quarter of the draw.

Toronto:Full draw|Order of play

Swiatek’s quarter-final opponent in her first hard-court tournament of the summer is number 8 Garbie Muguruza, but their charged quarter also includes unseeded Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka. Williams, who is playing her first hard court event in 18 months, will open in a qualifier to face the winner of the round 1 match between Azarenka and 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic.

Also present in Swiatek’s section is number 13 seed and home favorite Leylah Fernandez, who declared herself fully fit during Friday’s draw ceremony after a foot injury sustained at Roland Garros forced her out of Wimbledon. She too opens against a qualifier and could be Swiatek’s third round enemy.

At the end of the quarter, Muguruza will face four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka or Estonian Kaia Kanepi in her first game of the summer season on the hard court. The Spaniard withdrew from this week’s event in San Jose with an injury.

Draws, dates, prize money and everything you need to know about Toronto

There are a total of nine big winners in the top half. In the second quarter, Czechs Karolina Pliskova, ranked No. 14, and 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova will clash to start, while 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu is the first foe for No. 11-seeded Daria Kasatkina. No.3 seed Maria Sakkari, who is a potential semifinal foe for Swiatek along with No.5 seed Ons Jabeur, opens against the winner of the all-American opening round match between 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia kenin .

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In the bottom half of the draw, the number 2 seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit opens against the winner of the match between Swiss Jil Teichmann and wildcard Venus Williams. Williams played her first game of the summer this week at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, where she was defeated in Round 1 by Rebecca Marino of Canada.

Three takeaways: Marino triumphs in Venus Williams’ return to singles

Other bottom half highlights include a round 1 match between No. 9 seed Emma Radaucanu and defending champion Camila Giorgi of Italy, and a potential second round meeting between No. 10 seed Coco Gauff and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. Both face qualifiers in their openers.

Nine of the Top 10 in this week’s ranking will compete in the sixth WTA 1000 event of the season. World No.9 Danielle Collins is the only omission. She withdrew last week with an ongoing neck injury.

The main tournament at the Sobeys Stadium starts on Monday, August 8.

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