Abanda And Bellis Move On To Second Round At Tevlin Challenger

TORONTO, November 2, 2016

Francoise Abanda (Montreal) and Katherine Sebov (Kleinburg, Ont.) recorded straight set victories to advance at the $50,000 Tevlin Women’s Challenger on Tuesday. The two Canadians will join compatriot Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, Ont.) in the second round of the week-long event at Toronto’s Aviva Centre.

No. 3 seed Abanda captured her spot in the next round with a 7-6(7), 6-3 win over Emina Bektas. The American qualifier matched Abanda’s ace count of six, and gave the top-seeded Canadian some trouble early on in the match.

“I heard [Bektas] has a big serve before coming into today but during the match, it was really tough for me to return them,” said Abanda, who will next play Andreescu in the second round. “That’s why I went all the way to the tie-breaker because I just couldn’t break her. I found my way in the second though. I just focused on trying to break her, which I did once or twice. For my next match, I’m playing Bianca. I played against her this summer in Granby. I wanted a difficult match so it will be a tough one.”

Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov also advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 defeat over wild card Carson Branstine of the United States. Sebov, who played her third and final qualifying match a day earlier to secure her spot in the main draw, next faces No. 1 seed Catherine Bellis in the second round. Bellis beat Usue Maitane Arconada 6-4, 6-2 in an all-US-American first round match.

Canadians Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, Que.) were both eliminated from competition in their opening-round campaigns. Qualifier Ronit Yurovsky of the United States beat the former Stanford University standout 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes, while Robillard-Millette fell to Fanny Stollar of Hungary 6-2, 6-4.

Also in action, No. 2 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium defeated US-American Caitlin Whoriskey 6-0, 6-4 in her first round match. Jesika Maleckova of Czech Republic advanced after Great Britain’s Katie Swan was forced to retire. The No. 4 seed dropped the first set 6-4 but was leading 5-2 before the match was called. Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic upset No. 8 seed Michaella Krajicek 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(7) and advances to the next round of play in Toronto.

Second round action begins on Wednesday at the Centre of Excellence, the indoor tennis facility at Aviva Centre. The $50,000 Tevlin Women’s Challenger runs until Sunday 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.