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Clash of Canadians set in opening round of National Bank Cup in Quebec City

Sep 10, 2018
written by: Tennis Canada
written by: Tennis Canada

Monday night in Quebec City will kick off with a bang, as the tournament’s third and fourth seeds, Monica Puig and Monica Niculescu, will be in action. Joining the programming schedule for Monday are a pair of Canadians playing in doubles, as Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) and Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) are teaming up in the doubles draw. They will have the tough task of opposing the tournament’s second seeds, Darija Jurak and Xenia Knoll. However, these two players have developed some good chemistry recently, playing together at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and again at the Vancouver Challenger, even reaching the semi-finals.

It will be an all-Canadian match-up in the final match of the day. Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), who managed to qualify for the main draw after winning her two qualifying matches, will take on the young rising Canadian star Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC). The Laval native recently celebrated her sixteenth birthday. While she is not only a force on the junior circuit, she has also been making a name for herself among the pros. After reaching the quarter-finals at the Saguenay Challenger last fall, she continued her momentum into 2018, coming close to qualifying for the main draw at the Rogers Cup in Montreal this summer. It will be a match that Canadian fans will not want to miss!

Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig will be playing at the National Bank Cup for the very first time. However, the Puerto Rico native is not unfamiliar with Canada, as she played in the Rogers Cup four times, her best result coming in 2015 and 2018 when she reached the second round. She has had a rather successful to date, the highlight being her Olympic Gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first athlete to win an Olympic gold medal representing Puerto Rico. She managed to get a number of impressive wins, defeating Polona Hercog, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Garbiñe Muguruza, Laura Siegemund, Petra Kvitova, and Angelique Kerber in the final. She reached a career-high ranking of world no. 27 in 2016. This week in Quebec, she will be looking to build off of her recent hot streak, reaching the semi-finals at the WTA Premier tournament in New Haven.