A Canadian team into the doubles semi-finals
The final first round matches were disputed on Wednesday along with a few second round matches. The Canadians Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON) and Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC) both moved on at the Saguenay National Bank Challenger. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the tournament offers $60,000 USD in prize money and will be held from October 23 to 29, 2017.
The first Canadian on court on Wednesday was Carol Zhao, who faced the tough task of opposing An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium, former world no. 98, in the second round match-up. The match started with a series of breaks, with Zhao managing to get the crucial hold at love to go ahead and take the first set. The Canadian continued with her momentum into the second set, breaking her opponent early. After only a little over an hour of play, Zhao aced her way into the quarter finals for the second time in her five appearances in Saguenay.
Charlotte Robillard-Millette was the final Canadian left in first round action, as she took on Chieh-Yu Hsu of Chinese Taipei. In a tight first set, it was the young Robillard-Millette who got the necessary break to pull ahead in the match. In the second, two costly double faults by Hsu gave Robillard-Millette the early break and the Canadian never looked back. She only needed a little under an hour and a half to close out the match 6-4, 6-2.
The final match of the day was an all-Canadian doubles match-up. It was the pair of Bianca Andreescu and Carol Zaho who bested their fellow Canadians Anca Craciun and Petra Januskova by a score of 6-4, 6-4. They now move on to the doubles semi-finals.
It was another rough day for the tournament’s seeded players, as the first and eighth seeds were both eliminated in the opening round. In the first match of the day, top seed Risa Ozaki of Japan fell to American Francesca di Lorenzo. Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium, the tournament’s eighth seed, was also unable to move past her resilient opponent in the longest match of the day. It was the American Maria Mateas who emerged victorious after almost three hours of play. Other than the Canadian Zhao, Bibiane Schoofs of the Netherlands was the only seeded player to move on with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over crowd favourite Jovana Jaksic of Serbia.
Feature photo: Pascal Ratthé