Serena Williams will play only her second non-major WTA event in Toronto with the organizer confirming her participation in the National Bank Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion only just returned to tennis with participation in Eastbourne Open and Wimbledon after almost a year out with injury.

Her return to singles competition did not as planned as she suffered a second straight Wimbledon first-round exit this year.

She has now elected to use her protected ranking to enter the main draw of the National Bank Open for the first time since her run to 2019 final.

In that final, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu consolidated a break to go 3-1 up at which point Williams, a three-time winner of the event, went to her chair and broke down in tears due to back spasms that forced her to retire 19 minutes into the match.

It makes sense for Serena Williams to play in Toronto and get as much practice under her belt with the US Open also scheduled for August in what may be her last appearance on tennis courts for this year.

41 of the top 43-ranked players on the WTA Tour are on the Toronto entry list, including Poland’s world number one Iga Swiatek, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka of Japan, and Britain’s U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu.

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