Stacked top quarter can be seed graveyard

Iga Swiatek reaction Credit: PA Images

Iga Swiatek reaction Credit: PA Images

The field for the Toronto Masters is about as strong as it could be, while the draw has made the top quarter a dangerous place to be for seeded players.

In Toronto, the top eight seeds will enjoy a bye to the second round.

The seedings are roughly in line with the current rankings with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek as the top seed.

Swiatek will face either Veronika Kudermentova or American Shelby Rogers.

Should the French Open champion get over the first hurdle, she could face home hope and 13th seed Leylah Fernandez in the round of 16.

A screaming Leylah Fernandez Credit: PA Images

Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez was given the go-ahead to start her comeback to the WTA tour at home.

The Canadian teenager will start his tournament with a first round match against a qualifier.

Fernandez can expect a tough match in the second round regardless of whether Martina Trevisan or Beatriz Haddad Maia advances from the bracket above.

Why Canada’s Leylah Fernandez is a US Open title contender

The bottom half of the top quarter can be just as dangerous to the seeds.

Eighth seed Garbine Muguruza will face either Naomi Osaka or Kaia Kanepi in her opening match.

Belinda Bencic celebrates Credit: PA Images

Belinda Bencic

If that section is to go with seeding, Belinda Bencic will have to fight her way past former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and then either a qualifier or 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.

The second quarter can give us a hugely successful last eight match between Maria Sakkari from Greece and the Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur.

Sakkari is sure to face a Grand Slam winner in her opening match with Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin fighting for the right to face the world No.3 in the last 32.

Jabeur will want to avoid complacency against lower-ranked opponents with home hope Rebecca Marino taking on China’s Qinwen Zheng to decide the world No.5’s second-round opponent.

Ons Jabeur in action Credit: PA Images

Wed Jabeur

In the last 16, Sakkari would face one of Amanda Anisimova, Carol Zhao, Barbora Krejcikova or 14th seed Karolina Pliskova.

Bracketed to face Jabeur in the third round are the foursome of Russian No. 1 Daria Kasatkina, former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu and French pair Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia.

American No. 1 Jessica Pegula is on a 16-hole collision course with top-ranked Briton Emma Raducanu.

Raducanu has the tougher path to the potential match against Camila Giorgi in the first round with a match against either Anna Bondar or Elis Mertens who are both top 50 players.

Emma Raducanu Credit: PA Images

Emma Raducanu

Pegula, Raducanu or whoever makes it through their section will face Paula Badosa in the quarterfinals if the Spaniard can win back-to-backs together.

Former British No. 1 with an upbeat verdict on Emma Raducanu

Badosa’s first opponent will be either Canada’s own Katherin Sebov or Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putinseva.

Meanwhile, 16th seed Jelena Ostapenko could have a tough time on her way to the last 16 as she opens her tournament against Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina and is paired with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova who takes on Allison Riske in her opener.

Jelena Ostapenko frustrated Credit: PA Images

Jelena Ostapenko

Anett Kontaveit is the second seed and the bye will allow her to take on the opening round match between Jill Teichmann and Venus Williams which will decide who she faces first.

Resurgent Simona Halep could block Kontaveit’s path to a potential quarter-final against Aryna Sabalenka or Coco Gauff.

Sabalenka and Gauff are on a path that would see them meet in the last 16.

But if Gauff beats a qualifier in round one, she could face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in just her second match in Toronto.

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