British No 1 Emma Raducanu begins her assault on the Toronto Masters with a tricky assignment against experienced Italian Camila Giorgi.
Raducanu’s physical fortitude was called into question once again in Washington in the past week despite her run to the last eight of the Citi Open.
She was seen blowing on blisters on her hand, and some have latched onto this as a sign of weakness while others feel it is part of the process of Raducanu getting used to life on the WTA Tour.
Speaking at the Citi Open, Raducanu said that she relishes taking knocks to help her build resilience.
“I think that it took me a while, but right now I most enjoy the challenge of continuously coming back and getting back up.
“Getting yourself out of rock bottom, really, a lot of times repetitively, I think it’s a fun challenge and I think I have twisted my perception of it.
“I’m not viewing it as a negative thing anymore.
“I’m just seeing, okay, like the cards are not great right now, but what can I do to turn it around.
“Then the reward that you feel after a win, knowing that you have come through that, it means a lot more.”
Top seed Iga Swiatek won’t be in action on an opening day having been given a bye into the second round.
The World No 1 says she will be playing with freedom in Toronto as she doesn’t have anything to prove after her brilliant start to the season.
“I know there are many players who did even more, but I’m pretty proud of what I did in the first part of the season,” Swiatek said.
“I hope this gives me some freedom to play freely because I don’t have to prove anything. On the other hand, it can also pressure me, so I’m just trying not to think about what happened but prepare for what’s coming.”
In other first day highlights Kaia Kanepi will take on Naomi Osaka and Venus Williams returns to Masters tennis when she takes on Jill Teichmann.
How to watch the Toronto Masters
The National Bank Open (Toronto Masters) will be broadcast live in the United Kingdom through the Amazon Prime over-the-top streaming service.
Viewers in the United States can stream the event on the Tennis Channel while TSN, Sportsnet and TVA Sports are the Canadian broadcast partners.
Fans in Australia can watch through WTA Tour partner Bein Sports.
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