By Ben Lewis
We’re officially into the round of 32 at National Bank Open presented by Rogers, and the loaded field continues to showcase the greatest in women’s tennis.
Speaking of greatness, American Serena Williams shocked the sporting world by revealing on Tuesday that a retirement from tennis will soon be coming.
Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez are into the round of 32 and ready to electrify crowds again, and the women’s world no. 1 is set to debut.
Here are four Wednesday storylines to keep on eye on during our 407 ETR Daily Commute!
It’s officially a goodbye from Serena
She is one of the greatest athletes and champions of all time, in any sport.
A bombshell piece of news was revealed yesterday, as Serena Williams announced in a Vogue magazine piece that she will indeed be retiring from the sport, likely following this year’s US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Williams’ greatness transcends tennis – she is a global sporting icon, trailblazer, role model, and inspiration to multiple generations of players. Her resumé speaks for itself with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 in doubles, 73 career singles trophies, and 319 weeks spent as a world no. 1.
The announcement is bittersweet, with the sadness of her incoming departure from the game but a welcome opportunity to see her one last time in the city of Toronto!
She highlights a wonderful Wednesday night session, squaring off against 2015 champion Belinda Bencic.
In fact, it’s a rematch of a semi-final here from seven years ago, which Bencic came through in three sets.
The action all gets underway at Sobeys Stadium at 7 PM ET.
Leylah, Bianca highlight day + night session
Two Canadians are still alive and thriving at the National Bank Open!
In her first match back from a foot injury, Montreal’s Leylah Annie Fernandez fought past a determined Storm Sanders to reach the second round.
Now she squares off against 26-year-old Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, who has achieved her career high ranking of 24 this season, winning a pair of titles on grass courts in Nottingham and Birmingham.
It’s the first encounter between the two players and closes the Centre Court day session.
It’s also double duty for Leylah – she has teamed up with sister Bianca Jolie in the doubles draw, and they’re slated to play later in the afternoon on Court 1.
Mississauga’s Bianca Andreescu felt immense energy and love from the crowd in her first return to the National Bank Open since her historic 2019 title.
It helped push her past a determined Daria Kasatkina 7-6(5), 6-4.
Now she’ll prepare for France’s Alize Cornet, a savvy and experienced player who should take the crown as ‘Iron Woman’ – she has unbelievable streak of 62 consecutive grand slams played.
The pair are second up for the night session.
The world no. 1 is rearing to go in Toronto!
Iga Świątek has been the player of the year by a wide margin, with six WTA titles, four WTA 1000s and a French Open crown to her name.
Did I mention she also had a ridiculous 37 match winning streak from March until June, before finally being stopped at Wimbledon?
Iga’s greatness is eye catching as she moves brilliantly, competes ferociously, and plays with heavy hitting precision.
She gets an afternoon clash against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.
All Play Wednesday
It’s an absolutely loaded Wednesday schedule with 15 singles matches on the order of play, and six more in doubles.
Some of the best world are also set to play their opening matches in Toronto.
After reaching the semifinals of the Silicon Valley Classic, Spain’s Paula Badosa is prepared for competition at NBO22 and opens against feisty competitor, Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Another Spaniard, two-time slam champion, Garbine Muguruza, is in action against veteran Kaia Kanepi.
Recent Wimbledon finalist and world no. 5 Ons Jabeur debuts in her first main draw competition from Toronto (she reached quarterfinals of Montreal last year).
She faces Zheng Qinwen of China.
Other stars to watch for their first matches include Anett Kontaveit, Aryna Sabalenka, and Jessica Pegula.
It’s an all-play kind of day!
You don’t want to miss it.