The Rogers Cup begins in Montreal on Monday as the women continue their preparations for the US Open at the end of the month.
Big guns returning to action
World number one Simona Halep and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber will be contesting their first tournaments since the grass-court season ended as they gear up for a shot at the US Open.
The line-up for the WTA event in Montreal has yet to be confirmed as qualification continues on Saturday and there are a few big-name players who are still seeking to book a spot in the tournament proper.
American Christine McHale comes up against Stefanie Voegele and can claim a victory at 1/1. McHale has struggled for form lately but Voegele opted to compete on clay after the grass-court campaign and the change in surface could hinder the Swiss hopeful’s chances in qualifying for the Rogers Cup.
Montreal win no recipe for US Open success
The Rogers Cup may be a key warm-up event for the US Open but recent winners of the event have tended to struggle in the final Grand Slam of the year after taking the title in Montreal.
Elina Svitolina is the current Rogers Cup champion but she fell at the fourth round at Flushing Meadows in 2017, while two years ago Halep came out on top in Canada then fell at the first hurdle in the US Open.
The Romanian is the top seed at the Rogers Cup after ending her wait for a major title at the French Open earlier this year, and she looks good value at 10/1 for the US Open, but she will need these warm-up events to fine tune her game to hard-courts again and a victory in Montreal looks unlikely.
Kerber is the fourth seed in Montreal and her aim will be to peak at the US Open, where she is 8/1 to secure back-to-back Grand Slam titles.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who is 12/1 to defend her title in New York, has already made a return to hard-courts in Washington. The 25-year-old went out in the second round but may be able to bounce back in Montreal and could well be a real contender for the title in Canada.
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