Canada’s Andreescu, Fernandez to compete on home soil at National Bank Open

Bianca Andreescu’s comeback story will continue on familiar ground when she competes at the upcoming National Bank Open at Toronto’s Sobeys Stadium.

The Mississauga, Ont., native was in attendance Thursday as Tennis Canada announced the player list for this year’s edition of the WTA 1000 tennis tournament.

Andreescu won the event in 2019 during a breakout year that also saw her win the U.S. Open and reach a ranking of No. 4 in the world.

Andreescu, 22, enters the event as the 44th seed and is currently ranked 51st in the world.

Leylah Fernandez of Laval, Que., the 2021 U.S. Open runner-up, will be the 15th seed at the tournament.

Competition will be stiff as 41 of the top-43 players will be taking part at the event, headlined by world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Naomi Osaka, Toronto-born 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu and Serena Williams.

The tournament, to be played Aug. 5-14, is being held at full capacity for the first time since 2019 after being cancelled in 2020, and held with restrictions in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Men’s tournament in Montreal

Following a 15-month layoff that started in late 2019 due to a left knee injury and a bout with COVID-19 in 2021, Andreescu opted to take a “mental break” from tennis late last year.

Prior to a recent second-round exit from Wimbledon, she made it to the Bad Homburg Open final before falling to France’s Caroline Garcia. It was the furthest she had made it in a tournament since the 2021 Miami Open, where she fell to then-world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.

The men’s tournament will be held in Montreal, where Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime will eye a potential victory on home soil.

Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to participate in the tournament, as Tennis Canada had said in a statement in April.

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