Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the list of players who will take part in the 2018 Tevlin Challenger. Three players will lead the Canadian contingent, as Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC), Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) are set to take part in the 2018 edition of the tournament. Abanda had a career year in 2017, after qualifying and reaching the second round at both the French Open and Wimbledon. She also reached her first WTA quarter-final at the National Bank Cup presented by IGA in Quebec City. This year, she has reached two quarter-finals at tournaments in Florida and Chicago as well as the second round of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Montreal, defeating former world no. 13 Kirsten Flipkens. Abanda will be taking part in the tournament for a sixth time, where she won the doubles title in 2013.
Bianca Andreescu will also compete in the main draw. Despite her young age, the Ontario native has already had a number of impressive performances on the professional circuit, with three singles and three doubles titles to her name. She had a career year in 2017, as she qualified for her first Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon, reached the doubles final at the National Bank Cup and became the youngest Canadian player in 29 years to win a main draw match on the WTA tour in Washington. This will be Andreescu’s fourth participation at the Tevlin Challenger, reaching the quarter-finals in 2016 and 2017.
For her part, Katherine Sebov will be competing in Saguenay for the fifth time in her career. She reached the second round the past two years. The 19-year-old is still looking for her first title on the professional circuit. She came close last year when she reached the finals at the Granby Challenger. Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) and Layne Sleeth (Makham, ON) have received wild cards into the main draw. The final two recipients will be announced at a later date.
“The caliber of talent at this year’s tournament is quite impressive. We have a good mix of young up and coming players as well as some tour veterans,” stated Tournament Director Ryan Borczon. “We are also very pleased with the Canadian representation in Toronto. Our girls will leave it all out on the court in the hopes of taking home the title. They are looking forward to competing on home soil.”
The tournament’s top seed will be Kateryna Kozlova of the Ukraine. Currently ranked no. 107 in the world, the 24-year-old holds six career singles titles. In February of this year, she reached the final of the WTA International event in Taiwan, which propelled her to a career best ranking of no. 62. This will be only her first time playing at the Tevlin Challenger. Other notable names in the main draw include Naomi Broady of Great Britain (former no. 76) and Alexandra Cadantu of Romania (former no. 59).
The Tevlin Challenger is the final Canadian Challenger tournament in 2018. It is free admission at the Aviva Centre for those wishing to attend the tournament.
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*Feature photo: Pascal Ratthé