Serena Williams will next play at the National Bank Open in Toronto as the legendary player will continue her comeback.
Ranked No. 407, as per the latest WTA rankings, Williams is set to use her protected ranking to enter the National Bank Open main draw, the tournament organizers confirmed in an official release. It would mark her first appearance since 2019 in Toronto. The American star has had a fine record at the National Bank Open, having reached the finals five times, winning three of those.
While the 2020 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 tournament was held behind closed doors, the Canadian Open is looking forward to welcoming fans next month for the tournament.
Williams reached the Canadian Open final in 2019 but was forced to retire due to back spasms, with the scoreline at 3–1. As a result, her opponent Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian to win the event since Faye Urban won the title in 1969.
The 40-year-old, who is still chasing a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title, last won a major trophy back in 2017 when she triumphed at Roland Garros. Following that, Williams made it to a Grand Slam final four times but failed to win even one.
This year, after skipping the opening two Grand Slams (Australian and French Open), Williams competed at Wimbledon but suffered a first-round exit.
Before the start of the All England Club earlier this year, there were talks about Williams’ retirement as the legendary player was not active for a while and had not won a singles title for over a year.
“I didn’t retire. I just needed to heal physically, and mentally. I had no plans, to be honest. I just didn’t know when I would come back. I didn’t know how I would come back,” Williams had said in an interview.
Meanwhile, World No. 3 Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final clash due to abdominal issues, will also play in Canada, according to Yahoo Sports.
Nadal has won five times in Canada and will look to equal Ivan Lendl’s record of six Canadian Open titles at the upcoming ATP event in Montreal. The event could also feature the likes of World No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, along with World No.1 Daniil Medvedev.
However, 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic is not expected to play in Montreal due to Canada’s vaccination requirements.