While the best players in the world have already confirmed their presence in Canada for the 2017 edition of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, the qualifying matches during 407 ETR Free Community Weekend in Toronto and Milk Family Weekend in Montreal promise to be of very high calibre. Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that 11 of the Top 50 and 34 of the Top 75 players in the world will compete in qualifying on August 5 and 6 at Aviva Centre and Uniprix Stadium. Fans will have free access to the site on opening weekend which is a unique opportunity to get closer to the best players in the world.
Among the players who will attract attention in Toronto are Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia who upset new world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova en route to the Wimbledon semifinals last week. Her performance at the All England Club moved her to No. 33 on the WTA rankings which would make her the top seed in qualifying. Germans Sabine Lisicki and Andrea Petkovic will also be players to watch. Lisicki is making her way back following a six month injury layoff. A finalist at Wimbledon in 2013, she has reached a career-high ranking of No. 12 and holds the record for the WTA’s fastest serve at 210.8 km/h. For her part, Petkovic was a member of the Top 10 in 2011 after reaching the quarter-finals of three of the four Grand Slams that year. Finally, Rio Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig will also vie for a place in Toronto’s main draw.
On the men’s side, it will be a mix of veterans and rising stars playing for a spot in the main draw in Montreal. The fans will surely have their eye on charismatic Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis who reached the Australian Open final and Wimbledon semifinals in 2006. Former Top 10 player Ernests Gulbis of Latvia will also be making the trip to Montreal. He is on the comeback trail after missing most of the 2016 season due to a wrist injury. In 2014, Gulbis reached the semifinals at Roland-Garros thanks to wins over Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych. Several members of the ATP’s next generation will be looking to leave their mark at Uniprix Stadium including Americans Jared Donaldson and Frances Tiafoe. Twenty-year-old Donaldson is currently ranked No. 58 in the world and reached the fourth round in Miami earlier this year. For his part, Tiafoe is no stranger to success in Quebec after being crowned champion of the Granby National Bank Challenger last summer. Russian Daniil Medvedev, who knocked out Stan Wawrinka in the first round of Wimbledon and is already ranked inside the Top 50, will be looking to cause more upsets at Rogers Cup.
The qualifying draws in both cities will be completed by wildcards which will be announced at a later date.