Toronto Draw: Stacked Top Quarter Could Be Seed Graveyard

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Inga Swietec Feedback Credit: PA Images

The ground for the Toronto Masters is as strong as it could be, while the draw has made the top quarter a dangerous place for seeded players.

In Toronto, the top eight seeds will enjoy a second round bye.

The seeding is in line with the current ranking, with world No. 1 Inga Swetec fielding as the top seed.

Sweetek will face either Veronica Kudermentova or American Shelby Rogers.

If the French Open champion gets past that first hurdle, she could face home hope and 13th seed Leyla Fernandez in the round of 16.

Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez was cleared to begin his return to the WTA Tour on home soil.

The Canadian teenager will start her tournament with a first round clash against a qualifier.

Fernandez can expect a tough second-round match, even if Martina Trevison or Beatriz Haddad Maiya advance from the top bracket.

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The lower half of the top quarter can be equally dangerous to the seeds.

Eighth seed Garbine Muguruza will take on Naomi Osaka or Kaiya Kanepi in her opening match.

Belinda Bencic

If Belinda Bencic is seeded in that category, she would need to overtake former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and then qualifier or 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.

The second quarter could give us a blockbuster in a last-eight clash between Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur.

Sakkari is guaranteed to meet a Grand Slam winner in her opening match, with Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin battling for the right to meet World No. 3 in the round of 32.

Jabeur will look to avoid complacency against lower-order opponents as home hope Rebecca Marino will take on China’s Qinwen Zheng to determine her world No.

ons jabeuri

In the last 16, Sakkari will face either Amanda Anisimova, Carol Zhao, Barbora Krejcikova or 14th seed Karolina Pliskova.

Russian number one Daria Kasatkina, former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and French pair of Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia are set to face Jabur in the third round.

US No. 1 Jessica Pegula is in a round of 16 clash with top-ranked Brit Emma Radukanu.

Radukanu has a tough road ahead for a possible first round match against Camila Giorgi, in a match against either Anna Bondar or Elise Mertens, who are both top 50 players.

Emma Radukanu

Pegula, Radukanu or whoever comes through in their class will face Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals if the Spaniard can stitch together back-to-back victories.

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Badosa’s first opponent will be either Canada’s own Catherine Sebov or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putinseva.

Meanwhile, 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko may find it difficult to make a place in the 16th round as she makes her tournament debut against Ukraine’s Annelina Kalinina and is up against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, in her opener. Allison confronts Riske.

Jelena Ostapenko

Annette Kontaveit is seeded second, and her bye will allow her to advance to an opening round match between Jill Tekman and Venus Williams, which will determine who she faces first.

Resurgent Simona Halep could block Kontaveit’s way to a potential quarter-final against Aryna Sabalenka or Coco Gauff.

Sabalenka and Gauff are on a path that will see them meet in the last 16.

However, if Gauff beats the qualifiers in Round One, she could face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in her second match in Toronto.

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