TennisTue, Aug 16, 2005 Serena returns to the court Tuesday at Rogers Cup
TORONTO - American Serena Williams plays her first match since Wimbledon on Tuesday night when she faces French lucky loser Stephanie Cohen-Aloro in the second round at the $1.3 million Rogers Cup.
The 2005 Australian Open champion and the fifth seed here, Williams has not played since getting stunned by fellow American Jill Craybas in the third round at Wimbledon due to a left ankle injury. More Stories• Querrey wins first-round match
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While Williams was one of eight seeds to receive a first-round bye, Cohen-Aloro beat qualifier Selima Sfar of Tunisia, 6-2, 7-5, on Monday.
In the only other second-round matches Tuesday, two-time champion and second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France plays Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar and No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia opposes Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain.
Kuznetsova, the reigning U.S. Open champion, is just 1-2 since Wimbledon, losing her last two matches.
Top seed Maria Sharapova of Russia pulled out of this Tier I hardcourt event Sunday after suffering a right pectoral strain at last week`s JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles. The 19-year-old, who withdrew from that event prior to her quarterfinal against Daniela Hantuchova on Friday, will take over the world No. 1 ranking from American Lindsay Davenport on August 22, becoming the first Russian to hold the distinction.
Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium, the reigning French Open champion and the 2003 winner here, is the fourth seed and awaits Russian Evgenia Linetskaya or Argentine qualifier Mariana Diaz-Oliva. Henin-Hardenne is 27-2 with four titles in 2005, losing only in the quarterfinals of her season debut at Miami to Sharapova and to Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in the first round at Wimbledon.
Two of the hottest players on tour, Kim Clijsters of Belgium and Mary Pierce of France, are seeded seventh and eighth, respectively. Clijsters won the JPMorgan Chase Open final over Hantuchova on Sunday, while the Canadian-born Pierce won the Acura Classic two weeks ago.
In an early first-round result, No. 10 Nathalie Dechy of France defeated Colombian Fabiola Zuluaga, 6-2, 6-4.
A pair of seeded Serbians were in action Tuesday as No. 11 Jelena Jankovic was playing Na Li of China and No. 12 Ana Ivanovic defeated Italian Tathiana Garbin, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).
Also, 13th-seeded Hantuchova of Slovakia plays Russian qualifier Alina Jidkova; No. 14 Flavia Pennetta of Italy opposes qualifier Maria Sanchez Lorenzo of Spain; and No. 15 Dinara Safina of Russia meets Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives.
In all, winners of 12 of the last 14 Grand Slams are in the draw of the event, which alternates between Montreal and Toronto on a yearly basis. This year, the new Rexall Centre hosts the tournament. First prize is $189,000.