Mondays like this one don’t come around too often. Even in the wonderful world of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
With the WTA back at Sobeys Stadium for the first time in two years, the women’s draw this week is one of the strongest in recent memory. Seventeen of the top 20 are set to play, including defending champion Simona Halep, 23-time major winner Serena Williams and many, many more.
But on this particular day at Sobeys Stadium it’s an order of play worth giving a second and third glance to, with Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, Johanna Konta and Canadian youngster Leylah Annie Fernandez all in action.
And that’s just inside Centre Court.
It’s a packed schedule from front to back, with 2015 champion Belinda Bencic set to play second up on Grandstand, Canadians Genie Bouchard and Sharon Fichman teaming up for doubles on Court 1 and major champions Victoria Azarenka and Ashleigh Barty continuing their partnership on Court 4.
Did we also mention it’s a holiday here in Canada?
None of the Centre Court match-ups are gimmes, as Konta opens the day against teen sensation Dayana Yastremska, followed by Fernandez, the French Open junior girls’ champion, making her Rogers Cup debut. Wozniacki, a winner in Montreal in 2010, has Yulia Putintseva to contend with, the player who took out Naomi Osaka in the first round at Wimbledon.
Five-time major champ Sharapova is back in Toronto for the first time in eight years, since 2011. Her evening encounter against No.16 seed Anett Kontaveit is their second career meeting, with Sharapova winning their only previous meeting in 2017 on clay.
Kerber, a three-time major winner herself, meets former top 10 resident Daria Kasatkina, the crafty Russian.
Grandstand also features another Grand Slam champ with Jelena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open winner, meeting Caroline Garcia not before 5pm. Other names to know Monday? Elise Mertens, Sonya Kenin, Julia Goerges, Petra Martic and one more Slam champ, wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova.
In total, 15 Grand Slam singles titles will be represented on court on Monday, including a pair of them by Kuznetsova, the veteran.
It’s safe to say it’s one of the best orders of play – ever – at Rogers Cup. And no, we’re not exaggerating.
Qualifying Completed Over Weekend
Twelve players earned their way into the main draw over 407 ETR Free Community Weekend via qualifying, with No.2 seed Alison Riske, the Wimbledon quarter-finalist, leading the way.
Seeds Ajla Tomljanovic, Jennifer Brady, Polona Hercog, Iga Swiatek and Anastasia Potapova all won through, with Potapova taking out No.1-seeded Zhang Shuai.
American youngster Francesca Di Lorenzo beat No.8 seed Ons Jabeur, while Chinese 18-year-old Wang Xiyu beat No.11 Rbecca Peterson.
Qualifier Marie Bouzkova will meet Fernandez, the Canadian, in the first round.