Toronto, October 25, 2015 – Tennis Canada announced on Sunday that Canadians Francoise Abanda, Bianca Andreescu, Heidi El Tabakh, Sharon Fichman, Charlotte Robillard-Millette, and Carol Zhao will headline the $50,000 Tevlin Challenger player field, set to take place October 26 – November 1 at Aviva Centre. Among the other players joining the Canadians in Toronto will be top seed and world No. 73 Tatjana Maria of Germany, former world No. 11 Shahar Peer of Israel, and 2009 US Open quarter-finalist Melanie Oudin.
Abanda, El Tabakh, and Fichman all earned their spots in the main draw via direct entry. El Tabakh will be the highest-ranked Canadian in attendance at world No. 346, while 18-year-old Abanda’s best win this year came at Fed Cup back in April when she ousted world No. 33 Irina-Camelia Begu. Toronto’s own Fichman is a former doubles champion at the Tevlin Challenger, and will be returning home to continue her comeback after a season filled with injuries. She earned her career-high ranking just last year at world No. 77.
Andreescu, Robillard-Millette, and Zhao are recipients of wild cards into the tournament. Andreescu and Robillard-Millette are two of the most promising juniors in Canada, with both girls part of the bronze medal-winning Junior Fed Cup team last month. Both are ranked within the Top 25 juniors in the world, 16-year-old Robillard-Millette at No. 9 and Andreescu at No. 23. Fifteen-year-old Andreescu also made the final of her first-ever pro tournament, the $25,000 Gatineau Challenger, back in July. A former member of Tennis Canada’s National Training Centre, Zhao is now the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division I player in the United States for Stanford University. She finished as runner-up at the NCAA Championships this past spring.
Other players scheduled to compete this week are world No. 151 Jessica Pegula, last year’s runner-up Maria Sanchez, former world No. 30 Michaella Krajicek of Netherlands, and Serbian Jovana Jaksic who made her first WTA final in 2014.
Entering its 11th year, the Tevlin Challenger has seen many past winners go on to achieve success on the WTA circuit. Recent champions include 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), world No. 34 Camila Giorgi (2009), former world No. 21 Aleksandra Wozniak (2005), and Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski last year.
The Tevlin Challenger will take place at the Centre of Excellence, the indoor tennis facility at Aviva Centre in Toronto, home of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. Main draw action will commence on Monday. Admission is free for fans all week. Click here to access the singles draw.