Top field chosen for Rogers Cup

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams of the U.S., and world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia will play in the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament next month.

Serena Williams

TORONTO — Wimbledon champion Serena Williams of the U.S., and world No. 1 Dinara Safina of Russia will play in the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament next month.

The player list for the Aug. 15-23 tournament Rexall Centre includes all top 25 players on the WTA Tour and 33 of the top 35.

It’s a stellar field for the tournament, which has struggled in the past to attract the top-ranked players.

“A great amount of work and collaboration were needed by the players, the Tour and the tournaments to create a roadmap that has helped change our sport for the better, resulting in the top players competing in the best events such as Rogers Cup,” tournament director Karl Hale said Tuesday in a release.

“We made a commitment to our fans by remaining a Premier 5 event that included increasing our prize money by an additional US$660,000.”

The total prize money for the women’s singles event is US$2 million with the tournament champion receiving $350,000.

Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., is ranked 22nd in the world and will earn a spot in the main draw, the first time since 1996 that a Canadian has been a direct entry into the main singles draw without being awarded a wild card.

Five former champions will be in the field: Dinara Safina (2008), Ana Ivanovic (2006), Kim Clijsters (2005), Amelie Mauresmo (2004, 2002) and Williams (2001).

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