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Montreal: August 3, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Toronto: August 4, 2024 - August 12, 2024
Montreal : August 3 - 12, 2024
Toronto : August 4 - 12, 2024
Road to the NBO...

Road to the NBO - Grass Court Season Underway

Welcome to the Road to the National Bank Open. Every week, we will keep you updated on all the action on the WTA Tour as we build towards the National Bank Open in Toronto August 4-12!

Iga’s greatness continues

An incredible fortnight in Paris has wrapped up, with champions now crowned at the French Open. That also means our National Bank Open is less than two months away from a return!

Plenty of history was written these past two weeks at Roland-Garros, as world number one Iga Swiatek added more to her already illustrious career, capturing her fourth French Open crown.

Swiatek, who only just turned 23, became the first woman since Justine Henin did so in 2007 to three-peat at the event, and further solidified herself as the best champion on the clay surface.

Now, Iga and the rest of the tour are set to make one of the most challenging in-season changes on the tennis schedule: moving from clay to grass!

The grass-court swing is one of the more compelling stretches of tennis on the calendar, as players are forced to adapt to a remarkably quick, low bouncing surface which challenges your movement, timing, and overall skill.

For Swiatek, she’ll seek the exceptionally rare Channel Slam (winning the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back).

Just 10 women in history have ever successfully completed the Channel Slam, with Serena Williams doing so most recently in 2015.

On-Court Action

While Swiatek will rest up this week, some of the very best are getting their early footing on the grass at various events on the WTA calendar.

2023 NBO champion Jessica Pegula is the top seed at the Libema Open in s-Hertogenbosch, and the 30-year-old is surely eager to return to competition after missing the bulk of the clay swing due to injury.

The American is one of the purest ball strikers on tour, though can expect plenty of competition, with others like four-time major winner Naomi Osaka, NBO runner-up Liudmila Samsonova, and even Bianca Andreescu.

The Mississauga native, who made her first return to the tour in over nine months at Roland-Garros, makes the surface change this week.

The reason I’m optimistic about the 2019 US Open champion? She looks healthy and happy. Andreescu had a great showing at the French Open with two quality match wins.

The Canadian, who appeared on Match Point Canada earlier this season to chat with us, set a goal to return to the top 20 by the end of the year.

"I feel like my game is there", the former Grand Slam champion told us.

"I just have to have that consistency of playing tournaments and playing matches."

I believe Bibi's game can be suited for grass if she simply gets more reps. Last season, she reached the third round of Wimbledon before losing a thrilling three-set Centre Court showdown with eventual finalist, Ons Jabeur.

She’s not the only Canadian hitting the courts on grass this week.

Read more: Raonic headlines beginning of grass season

In Nottingham at the Rothesay Open, Canadian Rebecca Marino, whose big serve & forehand combination are a perfect recipe for the surface, is in the field, having come through qualifying.

The Grand Slam winning doubles tandem of Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe also resume their partnership, playing on the surface for the first time together.

Ons leads charge in Nottingham

I already mentioned Ons Jabeur, and her love of grass and quest to win Wimbledon has been well documented. Twice a runner-up at the All England Club, her versatile and tactical all-court game is often brilliant on the low bouncing surface.

She’s the must watch top seed in Nottingham in a field that also features former Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova and recent Australian Open semifinalist, Marta Kostyuk.

Read also: Fernandez beaten by Jabeur in Roland-Garros third round

Jabeur struggled out of the gates this season with form and confidence, but she turned a corner in Paris, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Coco Gauff in a great three-set match.

It's always an absolute pleasure to watch the Tunisian execute her craft on the finely manicured courts in England. 

The WTA's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 4 to 12 at Sobeys Stadium. Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!