Katherine Sebov pumps her fist and yells.

Photo : Jordan Leigh

The Saguenay National Bank Challenger kicks off on Monday with eight Canadian women in the singles draw at the ITF W60 event, led by top seed Katherine Sebov. 

Sebov is eyeing a second title and a third final on home soil in 2023 this week in Quebec. She won the ITF W25 event in Toronto in March and reached the W100 final in Granby in July. 

2023 has been a career year for Sebov, who made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open, won her first WTA 1000 match in Miami, and represented Canada for the first time since 2018 at the Billie Jean King Cup in Vancouver in April. 

Sebov is in a loaded top quarter of the draw that features fellow Canadians Marina Stakusic, seeded seventh, and Victoria Mboko. 

Stakusic arrives in Saguenay having won her last 11 completed matches (she withdrew prior to her second-round match in her most-recent tournament), winning her first two professional titles on the ITF tour in September. 

As a result of her good results, Stakusic was named to Canada’s Billie Jean King Cup team for next month’s Finals for the first time.  

She could meet Sebov in the quarter-finals, but first she could have to deal with her fellow young-gun Mboko in the second round. Stakusic and Mboko met last month in Berkeley, with Stakusic winning the second-round clash in straight sets. 

Mboko, like Sebov, has had a solid year on home soil, having successfully defended her title in Saskatoon in July. 

Arina Rodionova of Australia is the second seed. 

In the doubles, there are 11 Canadians competing on seven teams, including four all-Canadian teams. The All-British pair of Sarah Beth Grey and Eden Silva are the top seeds.