mboko and cross with canada flag

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

The Saskatoon Challenger’s opening round kicks off today, with 10 Canadians earning direct entry into the tournament. In addition, there are six Canadian players competing in the second round of qualifying for a spot in the main draw.

Highlighting the Canadian contingent are Stacey Fung (No. 5 seed), Carson Branstine, Cadence Brace, Marina Stakusic, and National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers students Victoria Mboko, Kayla Cross, and Mia Kupres. Toronto’s Mboko enters the tournament after a very successful Junior Wimbledon campaign, making deep runs in both singles (semi-finals) and doubles (finals – alongside classmate Cross).

Leading the main draw is Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece, who has a WTA Singles Ranking of 187 and is in search of her first title of the season. Rounding out the Top 5 seeds are a trio of Americans, Elvina Kalieva (No. 2), Hurricane Tyra Black (No. 3), and Jessie Aney (No. 4).

In the first round, tennis fans will be treated to a Mboko vs. Grammatikopoulou showdown. Other popcorn matches to look out for are the all-Canadian battles between Brace & Cross and Branstine & Fung.

The $25,000-level Challenger will be played on the hard courts of the Riverside Badminton and Tennis Club in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Matches start at 10 a.m. CST from July 17 to 23, and the singles final at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 24.

Attendance is FREE!

For more information about the event, please visit the tournament page on the ITF website, here