Abanda, El Tabakh, and Fichman Begin Tevlin Challenger

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Tevlin Challenger Tennis News

Canadian Carol Zhao was among the first-round winners at the Tevlin Challenger on Tuesday, advancing past Japan’s Mari Osaka 6-1, 7-5 at the $50,000 ITF Pro Circuit event at Aviva Centre in Toronto, while young stars Bianca Andreescu and Charlotte Robillard-Millette were both defeated by their higher-ranked opponents.Zhao, a former member of Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre and now the No. 1-ranked player in NCAA Division I tennis, needed 92 minutes to get past Osaka. Reeling off the first five games, Zhao had no trouble in cruising to the first set. While the second set was closer, Zhao never fell behind on her way to clinching a second-round berth.

For their parts, 16-year-old Robillard-Millette fell to top seed and world No. 74 Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-1, 6-3 and 15-year-old Andreescu lost to Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-0, 6-2. Robillard-Millette and Andreescu later won in doubles though, teaming up to eliminate American-Russian team Erin Clark and Nika Kukharchuk 6-2, 6-7(2), 13-11 to move into the quarter-finals. Both teenagers currently sit inside the Top 25 on the junior world rankings and helped Canada to a third-place finish in Junior Fed Cup last month.

Other action on Tuesday saw No. 3 and No. 4 seeds Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein and American Samantha Crawford advance easily past their respective opponents – Oman’s Fatma Al Nabhani and Belgian Klaartje Liebens – at a loss of just four games each. Last year’s runner-up Maria Sanchez of the United States dueled with Dutchwoman Quirine Lemoine for just shy of three hours before the No. 6 seed avoided the upset with a 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 triumph.

Wednesday’s schedule will see the remaining first-round matches take the court, including Toronto’s own Sharon Fichman against No. 5 seed Shahar Peer of Israel, with the winner securing a second-round duel with Zhao. Francoise Abanda will face 15-year-old qualifier Isabelle Boulais in an all-Canadian battle while Heidi El Tabakh will challenge American Danielle Lao. Serbian Jovana Jaksic, champion at last week’s $50,000 tournament in Saguenay, Quebec, will also feature in the day’s matches versus Australian Olivia Rogowska.

The Tevlin Challenger will take place at the Centre of Excellence at Aviva Centre, home of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, until Sunday November 1. In its 11th year, the tournament has seen many past champions move on to greater successes on the professional circuit, including former world No. 5 and Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard (2012), two-time WTA titlist Heather Watson (2010), 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki (2007), and former world No. 21 Aleksandra Wozniak (2005).

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.