Photo : Kimberly Hartwig
Victoria Mboko will have a chance to claim her first career senior-level ITF title on home soil after booking her place in the final of the Saskatoon Challenger with a straight-sets victory over sixth seed Elysia Bolton on Saturday.
Since losing the opening set of her first-round match in a tiebreak, Mboko has won eight sets in a row, including an upset of the top seed Valentini Grammatikopoulou in that first round match followed wins over the fifth and sixth seeds.
In the final, Mboko will meet the unseeded American Madison Seig, who got a free pass to the final when her scheduled opponent, Hurricane Tyra Black, withdrew.
Saturday’s semi-final victory over Bolton was the cleanest of Mboko’s strong run, as the Canadian only dropped four games in a 6-2, 6-2 win. She had dropped five games in both of her previous two matches, both of which came against fellow Canadians, Kayla Cross and Stacey Fung. Since this first set of her first round match, she has not lost more than three games in a set.
The final is Mboko’s second in a row on the ITF senior tour, having reached the title match at the W25 event in Monastir, Tunisia back in April, where she lost in three sets to Zhu Lin of China. Just a few weeks ago, Mboko reached the semi-finals of the Girl’s Singles event at Wimbledon and the final of the doubles.
Earlier this season, Mboko captured the junior title in Porto Alegre, Brazil, beating Cross in the final. She has won five ITF junior titles in her career.
Should Mboko win the title on Sunday, it would be a Canadian sweep in Saskatoon after Cross and Marina Stakusic won the doubles title, defeating Kendra Bunch of the United States and Katarina Kozarov of Serbia in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6(4), in Saturday’s doubles final.
Cross and Stakusic, both age 17, had upset the second seeds in the first round and beat a fellow all-Canadian pair, Cadence Brace and Mia Kupres, to reach the final. The pair only dropped one set in the entire tournament, that being in a tiebreak in their second round match.
It is the first career senior-level doubles title for both Cross and Stakusic.
A reminder that if you’re in the Saskatoon area, attendance is FREE!
For more information about the event, please visit the tournament page on the ITF website, here.