Canada’s Bouchard to play qualifier in first round of Rogers Cup

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard will have to wait until the weekend to find out who she will face in her first-round matchup at the Rogers Cup next week.

The Westmount, Que., native, ranked 73rd in the world, will play a yet-to-be-determined qualifier for the hard-court tennis tournament, which runs from Aug. 5 to 13 at Toronto’s Aviva Centre.

The draw was held Friday at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Bouchard is looking to improve on her 2016 finish at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, when she was eliminated by qualifier Kristina Kucova in the third round — her best showing at the Canadian event.

Karolina Pliskova, who has risen up the standings from No. 14 to No. 1 over the last year, is the tournament’s top seed. The top eight players receive a bye into the second round.

Some of the biggest names in women’s tennis — notably Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova — will be absent. Williams is out of competition as she awaits the birth of her first child while Sharapova dropped out Thursday with an injury.

Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., took Sharapova’s wild-card spot in the draw and will face Timea Babos of Hungary in the first round. The 17-year-old is coming off an upset victory over Kristina Mladenovic in the second round of the Citi Open in Washington on Thursday.

Montreal up-and-comer Francoise Abanda, competing in the main draw at the Rogers Cup for the fourth time, will play Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.

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