TORONTO, November 1, 2016
Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, Ont) became the first Canadian to secure her spot in the $50,000 Tevlin Women’s Challenger’s second round after defeating compatriot Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa) 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 at the Aviva Centre on Monday. Four other Canadians, including No. 3 seed Francoise Abanda (Montreal), will take to the courts for their first-round matches on Tuesday.
Andreescu’s campaign at the $50,000 ITF Pro Circuit tournament began with a shaky start. The 16-year-old rebounded after dropping the first set tie-break to win the next two sets and complete the two hour and twenty-six-minute victory over the 2014 Tevlin Challenger champion.
“It was tough to play someone from Canada, who’s older than you, and you’re also really close with,” said Andreescu. “I went into the match trying to stay focused and just remembering to play my game. It’s always hard after you lose that first set but I tried to forget about it, and just go point by point, then game by game.”
In other action, Canadian wild card Layne Sleeth (Unionville, Ont.) fell in her opening-round match to Mexico’s Renata Zarazua 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. In just the second professional main draw match for the 15-year-old, Sleeth overcame a tough first set loss, and pushed her 19-year old opponent to a deciding third set before being eliminated.
Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov (Kleinburg, Ont.) advanced into the main draw on Monday morning after winning her final qualifying match versus Elena Bovina of Russia 6-0, 7-5.
Also competing on Monday, Laura Schaeder of Germany upset No. 6 seed and last year’s runner-up Jovana Jaksic 6-4, 6-4. The German advances to the second round in her first appearance at the Toronto event. No. 5 seed Laura Robson of Great Britain was also upset. US-American Jessica Wacnik solved the former world No. 27 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
On Tuesday, Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.) kicks-off the order of play versus Ronit Yurovsky of the United States. Abanda is in action against US-American Emina Betkas. Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Montreal) faces off against Hungary’s Fanni Stollar, before Sebov takes on US-American Carson Branstine. The tournament’s top seed, Catherine Bellis faces fellow US-American Usue Maitane Arconada, while Belgium’s Elise Mertens, the No. 2 seed, begins her tournament against Caitlin Whoriskey of the United States.
The 12th edition of the Tevlin $50,000 Women’s Challenger is being held at the Centre of Excellence, the indoor tennis facility at Aviva Centre from October 31 – November 6. The impressive list of past champions includes former world No. 5 and Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard (2012), three-time WTA titlist Heather Watson (2010), 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki (2007), former world No. 21 Aleksandra Wozniak (2005), and last year’s winner Tatjana Maria of Germany. Admission to the public is free for the entire week.