Four Canadians were in first round singles action on Tuesday at the Saguenay National Bank Challenger. In the first match of the day, Jada Bui (Ontario) had the tough task of facing the tournament’s fifth seed Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria. While her opponent has quite a bit of experience playing on the professional circuit, the 16-year-old Canadian was only playing in the seventh pro tournament of her career. Despite her inexperience, Bui came out of the gate flying. After taking the first set thanks to a late break, she continued her momentum into the second and upset Kostova by a score of 6-4, 6-3. This is the first main draw win for Bui at the professional level.
She was not the only Canadian player to cause an upset on Tuesday, as 17-year-old Alexandra Vagramov (Port Moody, BC) defeated American Jacqueline Cako in a tight three-set match. After taking the first set, her opponent stepped up her game and came away with a quick win in the second set to force a decider. In the third, Vagramov battled her way into the following round with a 7-6(3), 1-6, 7-5 victory.
Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) followed suit, eliminating the tournament’s eighth seed Kimberley Zimmermann of Belgium. The Canadian got off to a slow start, unable to win a game off of her opponent in the opening set. She managed to turn things around and take control of the match. After flying through the second set, Sebov fought for a hard earned victory by a score of 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) did not share the same fate as her compatriots, as she was eliminated by Francesca Jones of Great Britain in the opening round. While her opponents outranked her by almost 400 spots on the WTA rankings, Branstine was able to keep up with the heavy hitting and fast pace of the match. She put up a valiant fight, but was unable to over come Jones, falling by a score of 6-2, 7-6(6).
In doubles, the all-Canadian duo of Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and Carson Branstine finished the day off in style, taking their opening round match by a score of 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 10-4. Petra Januskova (Ottawa, ON), alongside her partner Dasha Ivanova of the United States, was unable to move past the first round, falling 6-4, 6-3.
(Feature photo: Sarah-Jäde Champagne)