Last update: August 06, 2022, 09:39 AM IST
Serena Williams will have her work cut out for her when the Toronto Open begins next week as the 23-time Grand Slam champion begins hard court preparations for the upcoming US Open.
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If Williams gets past the qualifiers in her first-round match, she will face either Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic or veteran and former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second round.
Williams’ brutal quarter of the draw released on Friday also includes current world number one Iga Swiatek, four-time major champion Naomi Osaka, and Canadian teenage sensation Leila Fernandez.
A three-time winner of the event and most recently a 2019 finalist, she will be unseeded this time around.
The American, who turns 41 next month, returned to action in June after a year away from the court at Wimbledon, where she suffered a second straight first-round exit at a grass-court major in which she won seven. The bar has been won.
The main draw of the National Bank Open in Toronto starts on August 15 and Williams is then expected to compete in the Western and Southern Opens in Cincinnati before heading to New York for the US Open starting on August 29. will
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