The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Road to the NBO Presented by sobeys: A wide-open Wimbledon draw

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June 30, 2022
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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 presented by Rogers in Toronto, which takes place from Aug. 8 to 14.

DAYS UNTIL THE NATIONAL BANK OPEN: 39

The third Grand Slam event of the tennis calendar is in full swing at Wimbledon with the best WTA players vying for the most coveted and prestigious title in tennis on the famous grass courts of the All England Club.

What started as an open women’s draw with plenty of opportunities for someone to make a name for themselves, has become even more wide open through the first few days of play thanks to some noteworthy upsets of both seeded players and in-form competitors coming into the tournament.

But don’t worry, there are still plenty of stars to watch and storylines to follow.

ON-COURT ACTION:

WIMBLEDON

There was no bigger story through the first week of the London fortnight than the return of the Queen of the courts, Serena Williams, to her kingdom after a year away. Unfortunately, the comeback was exciting, but short-lived as she fell to Harmony Tan of France in a thrilling opening round encounter that had fans on the edge of their seats until it was decided in the third set tiebreak. Tan got her moment on Centre Court against a legend of the game and fully embraced it.  As for Williams, fingers crossed this match was the start of something special and not the end of a marvelous career. The good news is that she certainly seems like she’s motivated to play her home Slam in New York later this summer.

Meanwhile, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek broke a tie with Venus Williams and now holds the longest win streak of the 21st century thanks to her 36-straight victories. The change of surfaces hasn’t deterred her dominance as her quest for seven consecutive titles continues.

STORIES TO WATCH:

VENUS RETURNS IN MIXED DOUBLES

Speaking of Venus, she wasn’t going to let her little sister hog all the spotlight as she will also make her much-anticipated return at Wimbledon in mixed doubles alongside Jamie Murray.

The 42-year-old hasn’t played since last August in Chicago. In addition to her six women’s doubles titles with Serena at the All-England Club, Venus also reached the mixed final in 2006 with her compatriot Bob Bryan.

WHO WILL BE SWIATEK’S BIGGEST THREAT?

In a wide-open draw, it’s hard to declare a tournament favourite not named Swiatek, especially since there have been quite a few upsets already. Ons Jabeur won the WTA 500 event in Berlin on grass during the lead-up to Wimbledon and is poised for a Grand Slam breakthrough.  After reaching the French Open final, can Coco Gauff make another deep run at a Major? Top 10 seeds Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari are due for a strong result, but is their confidence high enough to perform at their best when it matters most?

This means that the door is open for some familiar names like Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, and Petra Kvitova, all former Wimbledon champions who are hoping to recapture their past glory.

OFF-COURT BUZZ:

Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who is missing Wimbledon because of a foot injury, isn’t letting her walking boot get in the way of refining her tennis reflexes and volley techniques or dreaming of being at Wimbledon. 

Congratulations to former National Bank Open champion Caroline Wozniacki who is expecting baby no. 2 with husband David Lee. The couple also has a one-year-old daughter named Olivia.

Brit Johanna Konta, who announced her retirement in December, was honoured by the WTA in Eastbourne last week in recognition of her many achievements, including reaching a career-high ranking of no. 4 in the world. 

Don’t miss your chance to see the best WTA players up close this summer. Get your tickets now!

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