|Photo: Neena Channan

Francesca Di Lorenzo of the United States is the 2019 Tevlin Challenger singles champion after beating Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium 7-6(3) 6-4. Part of the ITF Women’s Circuit, the Tevlin Challenger offered $60,000 in total prize money and was played on the courts of Sobeys Stadium in Toronto. Admission was free of charge for spectators.

Sunday’s final pitted the tournament’s top two seeds against one another as Flipkens (No. 1) and Di Lorenzo (No. 2) went head to head. Flipkens’ route to the final included victories over Canadian Ariana Arseneault, Hungary’s Fanni Stollar, Bulgaria’s Elitsa Kostova (No. 7) and Great Britain’s Samantha Murray. Di Lorenzo, meanwhile, beat compatriot Dalayna Hewitt, Sweden’s Mirjam Bjorklund, Catherine Harrison of the United States and Bibiane Schoofs (No. 3) of the Netherlands to reach the final.

Photo: Neena Channan

Flipkens and Di Lorenzo exchanged early breaks of serve in the first set, which was ultimately decided by a tiebreak. It was the American who emerged as the winner, claiming the set-winning point with a deft backhand after coming to the net. The second set took a similar path to the first and was evenly-matched with both players forcing multiple breaks of serve. But it was Di Lorenzo who managed to secure the victory, claiming it 6-4 following an uncharacteristic double fault by Flipkens on match point.

“I’m super, super happy right now,” Di Lorenzo said following the match. “To be able to pull it out, especially in two sets. It was a tight second set and a tight first set but I just stayed with it and stayed with my strategy so I’m happy the way I executed it.”

She added: “Playing in Canada, specifically Toronto actually, I love being here. I did well at Rogers Cup this year so that was a really big confidence boost for me. I just really love playing here on these courts and having the opportunity to play in front of people and a crowd is always nice. It makes all the hard work pay off.”

(Feature photo: Neena Channan)