It has been slow progress for top seed Bouchard to clamber back up the rankings since closing out her season last year after a first round loss, still suffering from dizziness after a fall at the US Open. She started the year just a smidge inside the Top 40 and has bounced around the rankings over the year, but in truth has not advanced too far.
Perhaps it is a little unfair on her as she has had some notably good runs – she made the finals of both Hobart and Kuala Lumpur, and it looks as though her focus is back on her tennis, but her US hard court swing was unremarkable and had a disappointing first round exit at the US Open.
A good run here will be some good prep for a run at points throughout the Asian Swing – with nothing to defend now after Beijing, she must surely fancy her chances of finishing higher up the rankings. She will be looking to go better than her semi-final run in 2013.
The defending champion makes her return to Quebec City, on top of her best season to date. She started the year making the fourth round of a Slam for the first time at the Australian Open, and her best result so far this year was the semi-final of Nurnberg, and the quarter-finals of Gstaad and Bastad.
She reached a career high of No. 37 in January but has since dropped back to 41. She will actually start her campaign against former champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 2014 champion is the third former winner in this year’s line-up. The Croatian landed back in the Top 100 that year, for the first time in 15 years, helped with a great run that year at the US Open, and had her second straight Top 100 finish last year.
Lucic-Baroni is has been a fixture in the Quebec main draw since 2010, and will be looking to making a second final this year, after losing out to Caroline Garcia in Strasbourg.
The German is twice a semi-finalist in Quebec, and will be looking to replicate the kind of form at the start of the year that took her to the Aucjland final in the season opener. Since then she has had more luck on clay than the hard courts this year.
Her fortunes in the US hard court series has been scant to say the least, falling in Cincinnati qualifying first round before reaching the second round of the US Open.
The Coupe Banque Nationale takes place between 12-18 August.
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