Fourth seeds Robin Anderson of the United States and Jessika Ponchet of France claimed the 2019 Tevlin Challenger doubles title on Saturday. Part of the ITF Women’s Circuit, the Tevlin Challenger offers $60,000 in total prize money and is being played on the courts of Aviva Centre in Toronto with admission free of charge for spectators.
Taking on Canadian wildcards and last week’s doubles champions in Saguenay Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) and Melodie Collard (Gatineau, QC), Anderson and Ponchet were made to work hard for their victory. An evenly-matched first set was decided by a tiebreak, which Anderson and Ponchet won 9-7. The second set was more comfortable for them, however, as they sailed to a 6-2 victory.
“It feels really good,” said Ponchet following the win. “Two years ago I lost in the semi-finals in doubles [at the Tevlin Challenger] and two times in singles so it’s good to win this year.”
In the singles semi-finals, top seed Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium was forced to come from a set down to beat Great Britain’s Samantha Murray, who was also a semi-finalist at the Saguenay National Bank Challenger just last week. After losing the first set 6-2, Flipkens battled back to win the second set 6-2 and the third 6-3 to seal her place in the tournament’s final.
She will be joined by Francesca Di Lorenzo (No. 2) of the United States after she defeated Bibiane Schoofs (No. 3) of the Netherlands. The American claimed a hard-fought first set 7-5 but Schoofs produced a stunning comeback, winning the second set without dropping a single game. Di Lorenzo refused to be denied, though, and showed great composure to regroup and secure victory in the final set 6-2, confirming her place in Sunday’s final.
Admission to the Tevlin Challenger singles final, which begins at 12 p.m. on Sunday, is free of charge for all spectators.
(Feature photo: Neena Channan)