Just a few days after the end of the Olympic tennis events, the WTA Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada kicks off as part of the run up to the US Open. Last year’s winner and recent gold medal winner Serena Williams is noticeably absent from the tournament, which has opened up the draw.
With the top 16 seeded players awarded a first-round bye, things look to heat up beginning in the third round. The silver and bronze medal winners are situated on the left side of the draw, which looks to be the stronger half. Double bronze medal winner and first seed Victoria Azarenka might have a battle on her hands against 15th seed Sabine Lisicki who nearly managed to upset the eventual silver medalist Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Olympics. I will be interesting to see how fatigue plays a factor for these two who both stayed in London late into the weekend to complete mixed doubles matches. If Azarenka is able to make it past Lisicki, a quarterfinal matchup against Kvitova appears likely.
Former world no. 1 Caroline will be tested early in the tournament. The Dane has been on the receiving end of several shocking defeats over the last few months and was nearly blown off the court by Serena Williams in the Olympic quarterfinals. 12th seed Dominika Cibulkova is a likely third round opponent and could potentially cause a mini-upset early one. Whichever player makes it through is set to play third seed Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals.
Early matchups on the right side of the draw include 8th seed Sara Errani against 10th seeded Li Na. If ranking pulls through, the winner will play 2nd seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals. 6th seed Angelique Kerber and 4th seed Samantha Stosur also primed to lock horns in the quarterfinals assuming Kerber can get through Ivanovic who has firmed up her game this year.
The Rogers Cup poses some interesting matchups with the top seeded players looking well poised to make it through to the quarterfinals. Potential upsets could come from Daniela Hantuchova who is set to take on 13th seed Jelena Jankovic in the second round and Li Na, who took Radwanska to 3 sets in Stuttgart this year and had a strong hardcourt run in the first quarter of the year.
The full WTA Rogers Cup draw can be viewed here.