San Jose (USA), Jul 30 (IANS): World No 3 Maria Sakkari, No 4 Paula Badosa, Ons Jabeur, and Aryna Sabalenka have been drawn as the top seeds at the Silicon Valley Classic tennis tournament, which begins on August 1.
A finalist in 2018, Sakkari returns to San Jose as the top seed. The Greek star has enjoyed consistent success in San Jose, having followed up her run to the final with a semifinal appearance last year.
The top four seeds have byes into the second round. Sakkari will await the winner of the enticing first-round encounter between Bianca Andreescu and Shelby Rogers.
San Jose will be Andreescu's first hard-court tournament of the season. The Canadian star comes into San Jose off strong clay and grass seasons, highlighted by making the Rome quarterfinals and Bad Homburg final. Rogers won their sole prior meeting, a straight-set win last summer in Chicago.
The 27-year old Sakkari's quarter also sees No 8 seed Karolina Pliskova and Amanda Anisimova, who is in the midst of the best season of her career. Pliskova faces a rematch with Katie Boulter in the first round. The British wildcard ousted the Czech in the second round of Wimbledon last month.
Wimbledon finalist and World No.5 Ons Jabeur is also in the top half of the draw. Jabeur will face either Madison Keys or Zhang Shuai in the second round. Garbiñe Muguruza is the other seed in Jabeur's quarter and will open against Camila Giorgi.
Meanwhile, No 2 seed Badosa leads the bottom half of the draw, which includes No 4 seed Aryna Sabalenka, No 6 seed Coco Gauff, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, and four-time major champion Naomi Osaka. Badosa will open her tournament against either Alison Riske or a qualifier, a wtatennis.com report said.
The most exciting section of the bottom half of the draw involves Gauff and Osaka, who could face each other in the second round. Gauff will make her San Jose debut against Anhelina Kalinina, while Osaka will face 19-year-old Chinese talent Zheng Qinwen on Tuesday during the day session.
If Gauff and Osaka face off in the second round, it will be their first meeting since 2021 Cincinnati and fourth overall. On the other hand, Wimbledon champion Rybakina is unseeded in San Jose and will make her hard-court return against 2021 finalist Daria Kasatkina.
World No.12 Kasatkina is seeded No 7 in San Jose and is playing her first tournament since the clay season, where she made her first Slam semifinal at Roland Garros. Rybakina and Kasatkina have split their prior meetings, with Rybakina winning their last match at 2021 Abu Dhabi.