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Nadal entered this year’s event as the top seed in the men’s bracket after fellow stars Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer each withdrew from the tournament. Ash Barty is the top seed in the women’s singles bracket, which also features Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.
The total prize pool for the men’s singles tournament at the Rogers Cup is $5.7 million, with more than $1 million earmarked for the winner. The women’s singles event features a total prize pool of $2.8 million, with a grand prize of just over $520,000.
The Rogers Cup’s organizers drew criticism in recent days over the pay disparity of the men’s and women’s events, at a time when the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s fight for equal pay is generating unprecedented scrutiny about gender-based pay practices.
“We obviously would love to see equal prize money at both Rogers Cups, and I think they’d love to see it, too,” Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon told the Globe and Mail. “We all recognize that the money has to come from some place, and they have a lot of responsibilities and we respect choices federations have to make. But you’d also like to see some of the choices come to making a statement, which I think would bring a lot of value to an organization.”
Nadal is a four-time Rogers Cup champion, including a win at last year’s tournament. Simona Halep is the defending women’s singles champion.
This year’s event runs from Aug. 5 to Aug. 11.