Former world number one Serena Williams has been given a wild card to compete in next month’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.
The three-times champion, who gave birth last September and lost in the Wimbledon final 10 days ago, has not competed in Montreal since her run to the semi-finals in 2014 and last played the Rogers Cup in Toronto the following year.
“After announcing our player list a few weeks ago, we were only missing Serena to complete our dream tournament,” Rogers Cup tournament director Eugene Lapierre said in a statement.
“Serena has impressed everyone with the speed at which she was able to return to a high level of play. She has always been a fighter and she is proving it once again.”
Williams returned to competition at Indian Wells in March, where she lost in the third round, but has since looked close to her best and is ranked 27th in the world.
The wild card given to Williams, who won the tournament in 2001, 2011 and 2013, is reserved for players who meet specific requirements, including previously having been ranked number one in the world.
Serena made a comeback into the world’s top 30 in the latest WTA rankings released last week after her inspiring and stellar show at Wimbledon last week.
Serena played her second major just 10 months after undergoing a complicated surgery post the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian and even then, she reached the final at the All England Club.
Serena, who had earlier each the last 16 at French Open before pulling out due to injury, looked much better on grass and got better with each other.
However, Angelique Kerber proved to be too strong in the final for the error-strewn 23-time Grand Slam champion.
The 36-year-old American climbed 153 places to 28th despite losing in the Wimbledon final.
Meanwhile, Swiss ace Roger Federer pulled out of tournament due to scheduling issues.
Announcing his withdrawal, the 36-year-old said that he enjoyed playing in the tournament last year, but he would not be able to participate this year keeping in mind the longevity of his career.
“I’m so disappointed not to play at the Rogers Cup this summer. I had a fantastic time in Montreal last year and always enjoy playing in front of the Canadian fans, but unfortunately with scheduling being the key to my longevity moving forward, I have regrettably decided to withdraw from Toronto this year,” Federer said.
“I wish the tournament every success and am sorry to miss it,” Federer said.
News credit : Indiatoday