Canadians Francoise Abanda (Montreal, QC), Jada Bui (Toronto, ON) and top seed Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium advanced to the second round of the Tevlin Challenger following victories on Wednesday. Part of the ITF Women’s Circuit, the Tevlin Challenger offers $60,000 in total prize money and is being played on the courts of Aviva Centre in Toronto.
Fans were treated to three consecutive matches featuring Canadians on Court 1 as Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), Abanda and Ariana Arseneault (Richmond Hill, ON) were all in action one after the other. Abanda was up against fourth seed Sachia Vickery of the United States and was comfortable throughout the match. The 22-year-old, who was a semi-finalist in Saguenay last week, eased to a 6-3, 6-3 victory and will meet Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands in round two.
Fernandez, meanwhile, faced a difficult opponent in the form of third seed Bibiane Schoofs. The 17-year-old made a terrific start, claiming the first set 6-2, but could not see out the match as she fell 7-5 in the second and 6-4 in the third. Flipkens, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2013, saw off the challenge of Arseneault 6-2, 6-1 to take her place in the second round.
Elsewhere, Canadian wildcard Jada Bui advanced after claiming victory over Peangtarn Plipuech by a score of 7-6(5), 6-2. Elitsa Kostova (No. 7) defeated Melodie Collard 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, Francesca Di Lorenzo (No. 2) of the United States beat compatriot and qualifier Dalayna Hewitt 7-6(6), 6-4, while Canadian qualifier Raphaelle Lacasse fell 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1 to Fanni Stollar of Hungary. There were upsets as Robin Anderson (No. 5) lost 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 to Catherine Harrison and Jovana Jaksic (No. 8) of Serbia fell 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-5 to Hayley Carter.
In doubles, Canadian duo Fernandez and Collard beat a pairing of Leonie Kung and Anna Morgina 6-2, 6-3, whilst Abanda and Vickery teamed up to overcome Kimberley Zimmermann and Tess Sugnaux 6-1, 4-6 [11-9]. In an all-Canadian affair, it was Marina Stakusic and Mia Kupres who were the victors, defeating the pairing of Arseneault and Bui 6-2, 4-6 [10-7].
For their part, top seeds Naomi Broady of Great Britain and Hayley Carter of the United States beat Di Lorenzo and Erin Routliffe 6-4, 5-7 [11-9], whilst second seeds Schoofs and Stollar swept aside Jaksic and Rasheeda McAdoo 6-3, 6-1.
(Feature photo: Neena Channan)