QUÉBEC, August 2, 2018 (Press Release)
Some of the WTA’s brightest stars will travel to Québec to play in the 2018 National Bank Cup presented by IGA. On Wednesday, Tennis Canada announced the names of the women who will be competing in the tournament. This year, four Top 50 players will battle on the courts at PEPS, Université Laval’s sports complex. The illustrious group includes World No.28 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, rising stars Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins and Petra Martic. The tournament’s 2013 champion Lucie Safarova and Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig will also be on hand.
Tournament director Jaques Hérisset is eager to see what the 2018 tournament has in store: “National Bank Cup presented by IGA has always been important to the Québec region. Year after year, fans discover the WTA’s best. There is so much happening in women’s tennis right now, and it is impossible to predict the winner of any tournament. The 2018 National Bank Cup presented by IGA will also have its share of surprises and reveal the talent of promising young athletes.”
Making her first appearance in Québec, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia is expected to be seeded first. She has spent the past nine years in the Top 50, evolving into a skilled player with consistent quality results. She has gone as far as the quarterfinals at four Grand Slam events. This season, she took the top honours in Strasbourg and defeated players including Madison Keys and Garbiñe Muguruza.
Lucie Safarova, 2013 champion and 2009 finalist, will be returning to Québec for the sixth time in her career. In 2015, she fought in the singles final at Roland-Garros. Ranked as high as World No. 5, she has earned five doubles titles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Québec tennis fans will also have the opportunity to see an Olympic champion: Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, who claimed her nation’s very first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games. She will be among the players in action from September 8 to 16 on the PEPS courts at Université Laval.
A cluster of rising stars
In Québec, WTA recruits including Aryna Sabalenka, Olga Danilovic and Danielle Collins will be out to cause a few upsets. Sabalenka, who is only 20 years old, is currently taking the tennis world by storm and racking up wins against top players. This season, she made it to the final at Eastbourne, defeating Julia Goerges (13), Elise Mertens (15), Karolina Pliskova (7) and Agnieszka Radwanska (31) on her way. She also got the better of reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens in their Fed Cup duel.
At 17 years old, Danilovic is coming off a dream week in Moscow. She entered the main draw as a lucky loser and battled to take home the very first WTA title of her young career. Collins found her way to the WTA after a brilliant NCAA career. Earlier this season, she capitalized on a wildcard in Newport Beach to grab her very first title. She then became the first qualifier to play in the semifinals in Miami, where she toppled Venus Williams, CoCo Vandeweghe and Monica Puig.
Sofia Kenin and Christina McHale of the US, Tatjana Maria of Germany and Evgeniya Rodina of Russia are also players to watch.
Wildcards to two Canadians
Two wildcards into the main draw will be awarded to two Canadian players whose names will be announced in the coming days. National Bank Cup has always been a springboard for homegrown talents and this year’s edition is no different. The qualifying rounds are set to begin on the first weekend. Admission is free.