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2017 Rogers Cup Toronto: What you need to know

The Rogers Cup is part of the US Open series tennis tournaments and it’s held in Canada. The ATP and WTA tournaments alternate each year between the cities of Toronto and Montreal. The women’s Rogers Cup this year will be held in Toronto, from August 5 to August 13, 2017. Here are a few facts about the tournament:

  • The Rogers Cup has been around for a long time, having started in the 1880s.
  • It is a premier 5 event in WTA, making it rather high profile (Dubai and Rome are also premier 5 events).
  • 64 players will take part in the singles’ event.
  • Simona Halep is the defending champion. She will return this year, as world number 2 and might face last year’s runner up Madison Keys in the opening round. Keys is facing CoCo Vandeweghe in the Bank of the West classic final today.
  • Past champions of the high profile event include Chris Evert, Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Amelie Mauresmo and Steffi Graf.
  • The prize money allocated exceeds $ 2 million.

Check out the Women’s singles’ draw. Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are the 2 most notable absentees.

Things to watch at the Toronto Rogers Cup:

Karolina Pliskova makes her debut as World No 1

Karolina Pliskova has already won 3 titles this year, but none of them was a Grand Slam. Yet, she is the official World number 1 as of a few weeks ago. At Wimbledon, Pliskova was shocked early by tournament surprise Magdalena Rybarikova, so we haven’t seen her actually defend her ranking yet. Hard courts favor her style of play. In fact, 2 of the 3 titles she has won this year were on the hard courts of Brisbane and Doha. The 2016 US Open finalist is looking to make an equally strong return this year and the Rogers Cup in Toronto will be her first stop. She will be facing either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Alizé Cornet in her first match. Can Karolina Pliskova handle the pressure of being world number 1 and prove the top spot is rightfully hers? It will be interesting to see.

The return of Angelique Kerber

Former world number 1 Angelique Kerber hasn’t had the best year so far. Following an incredible 2016, Kerber has struggled with her form in the past 6 months. Although she has played very little this year due to some unexpectedly early exits, she decided to take a long break after Wimbledon to work on her game. She likes hard courts and hard courts like her back, as proven by the 2 Grand Slam trophies she currently holds, from the 2016 US Open and the 2016 Australian Open. Her return won’t be easy, as she might be facing local girl Eugenie Bouchard in the very first match. Bouchard almost bageled Kerber in Madrid this year, before the German retired with an injury at 5-0. Even if she manages to overcome the first obstacle, Petra Kvitova and Johanna Konta will probably be lurking in the next rounds. Now, I have to admit I have a soft spot for Angelique Kerber. But I don’t think this year’s results do her justice and she needs to start proving it soon.

CoCo Vandeweghe, Johanna Konta and Simona Halep

These 3 ladies will be in the spolight of the Rogers Cup Toronto tournament for different reasons.

CoCo Vandeweghe is currently making an incredible run in Stanford. She is in the final of the tournament, without having dropped a set and, frankly, she looks unbeatable. Oh and she is also in the doubles final, where she plays alongside compatriot Abigail Spears. Hard courts definitely suit her playing style, but the improvements she has made to her serve and anticipation are something worth noticing. If CoCo manages to handle her negativity and loss of focus when things don’t go her way during a match, she’ll soon be a force to be reckoned with. Johanna Konta made an incredible run at this year’s Wimbledon, in her home country. We saw a glimpse of what she can do on hard courts in the Australian Open and now is the time for her to consolidate. Given the consistency and speed at which Konta is improving her game and mentality, she is definitely one to watch in the big tournaments. Finally, Simona Halep’s clay season showed promising signs for the future. She is still in the race for World no 1, but can she actually reach that whole other level of tennis that will allow her to get to the top and win a Grand Slam?

Let’s see how many of those questions will be answered when the action starts tomorrow!

Featured Image By Laslovarga – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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