Serena Williams faces tough draw in first US Open tune-up event

Serena Williams faces tough draw in first US Open tune-up event

Serena Williams leaves court after losing her first round match against France’s Harmony Tan at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London June 28, 2022. — Reuters pic

Saturday, 06 Aug 2022 8:08 AM MYT

NEW YORK, Aug 6 ― Serena Williams will have her work cut out for her when the Toronto Open kicks off next week as the 23-time Grand Slam champion begins her hardcourt preparations for the upcoming US Open.

If Williams can get past a qualifier in her first round match she will then face either Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic or savvy veteran and former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

Williams’ brutal quarter of the draw released yesterday also includes current world number one Iga Swiatek, four-time major champion Naomi Osaka, and Canadian teen sensation Leylah Fernandez.

A three-time winner of the event and a finalist as recently as 2019, she will be unseeded this time around.

The American, who turns 41 next month, returned to action after a year away from the court at Wimbledon in June, where she suffered her second straight first round exit at the grass court major she has won seven times.

The main draw of the National Bank Open in Toronto begins on August 8 and Williams is then expected to compete at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before heading to New York for the US Open, which begins on August 29. ― Reuters