Abanda, Collard and Sebov get wild cards for the qualifying draw
On Wednesday, Tennis Canada announced the wild cards for the 2021 National Bank Open presented by Rogers. Three Canadians are now entered in the main draw of the WTA 1000 event: Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON).
Including No.2 seed Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), Canada will once again be represented by an excellent delegation at the National Bank Open, with at least four players in the main draw.
Fernandez, whose wild card had been confirmed a few weeks ago, will be competing in her third edition of the Canadian event and second in Montréal. In 2019, at only 16 years old, she fell in the first round to Marie Bouzková (54) of Czechia. Since then, the Quebecer has built on her experience and risen to World No.70. In March, she won her very first WTA title in Monterrey, Mexico. She arrives in Montréal with tremendous focus, set to win her first match in the main draw of the National Bank Open.
Marino will be at the National Bank Cup for the sixth time. Currently No.219, she was just crowned champion at the ITF W25 event in Evansville, Indiana. She will be in the main draw for the second time. In 2011, she suffered a heartbreaking loss to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia (7-6(6), 6-4).
Zhao (No.299) is gearing up for her tenth appearance at the National Bank Open and fourth in the main draw. So far this season, she has fought her way into two ITF W25 finals: Potchefstroom (South Africa) and Salinas (Ecuador). Next week, she will fight to enter the second round of the Canadian event for the first time.
Two-time National Bank Open champion Simona Halep of Romania, who won the tournaments in Montréal in 2016 and 2018, receives a Gold Wild card from the WTA reserved for former World No.1 players who were ranked in the Top 20 in the previous season or who have won a Grand Slam, WTA Finals or WTA 1000 title in their careers.
There is one final wild card still to be handed out. The name of the recipient will be announced soon.
Wild cards for the qualifying draw
The wild cards for the qualifying draw were also announced on Tuesday. Canadians Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) and Françoise Abanda (Montréal, QC), who is returning to the game after several weeks away, will be competing along with Mélodie Collard (Gatineau, Québec), who won the prequalifying tournament held at IGA Stadium from July 29 to August 1. The young Quebecer, who mostly plays on the ITF circuit, will be making her first appearance at a WTA event. In addition, under an agreement with the French Federation of Tennis that gave Eugenie Bouchard the opportunity to play in the main draw of the French Open in 2020, the last wild card will be given to a French player to be determined at a later date.
Tickets for the National Bank Open
Owned and operated by Tennis Canada, the prestigious National Bank Open presented by Rogers attracts the biggest stars in tennis year after year. In 2021, the women’s event will take place at IGA Stadium in Montréal from August 7 to 15.
To purchase tickets for the tournament in Montréal, go to www.omniumbanquenationale.com.
Sportsnet is the official English broadcaster and TVA Sports is the official French broadcaster of the 2021 National Bank Open.