August 14, 2022

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU EVER NEEDED

Marino, Zhao and Sebov – but not Bouchard – get Toronto wild cards

The remaining wild cards for this year’s National Bank Open women’s event in Toronto were announced by Tennis Canada Wednesday.

And in addition Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams, the three remaining free passes for the tournament’s main draw – which begins in less than two weeks – have been distributed to Canadians Rebecca Marino, Carol Zhao and Katherine Sebov.

Notably, that means that Genie Bouchard – who had requested a wild card – will not be there. At least, not on the court.

Either the others were chosen ahead of her or – more likely – the 28-year-old still isn’t ready to return to action.

Mboko, Cross get qualifying wild cards

When we spoke to the two young Canadians after their Wimbledon girls’ doubles finals defeat, they expected to take part in the pre-qualifying tournament to be held next week.

They won’t have to; both Victoria Mboko, 15 and Kayla Cross, 17, will be straight into the qualifying.

Another qualifying wild card is gone to the French Tennis Federation, in exchange for the wild card given to Zhao for the qualies at the 2021 French Open.

The fourth will go to the winner of the pre-qualifying tournament.

What’s next for Bouchard?

The former world No. 5 is still on the mend from shoulder surgery performed in June, 2021.

She has had three wild cards announced this spring and summer – a $100K ITF in Florida, a WTA 125 on grass in Italy and next week’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

The first two came and went without Bouchard acknowledging them. But she did make a video announcing her appearance in D.C.

Since then, she has disappeared from the entry list and the photo graphics.

On Wednesday, she was hitting in Tampa, Fla. – on Har-Tru, not hard courts – with Cameron Ahari, a 32-year-old financial advisor who played college tennis at the University of North Carolina a decade ago.

Until a year ago, Ahari was a marketing manager at Nike.

Bouchard is not on the entry list for the new WTA Tour event in Granby, which takes place the week before the US Open. But of course they would be happy to give her a wild card, if she is ready to play.

The Canadian also has not entered the qualifying at the US Open, for which the deadline is Monday.