Serena Williams to play in Toronto tennis tournament ahead of US Open

TORONTO -- Serena Williams has decided to compete next month in Toronto, having returned to action two weeks ago at Wimbledon after a year away from competition, tournament organizers said Thursday.

Williams, who suffered a second straight Wimbledon first-round exit this year, elected to use her protected ranking to enter the main draw of the Aug. 6-15 National Bank Open for the first time since her run to the 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.

Organizers said 41 of the players ranked in the top 43 on the WTA Tour are on the Toronto entry list, including world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka of Japan and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu of the United Kingdom.