Marina Stakusic playing at the Tevlin Challenger

Photo : Neena Channan

The Tevlin Challenger is inching closer to a thrilling conclusion. 

Today, the semifinals took place with two Canadians, Victoria Mboko and Marina Stakusic, leading the charge. 

While Mboko found herself on the losing end of her match, Stakusic dominated hers, leading her to yet another finals appearance in 2023. 

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Stakusic, who will also participate in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, won her match in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 as she asserted her dominance over Justina Mikulskyte. The first set began with Mikulskyte breaking Stakusic’s serve, but the latter bounced back by winning five consecutive games. Mikulskyte kept herself alive with her final service game of the set, but Stakusic never lost sight of her mission and finished the set with ease. 

 The second set went in a similar direction. Mikulskyte could not win either of first two service games, quickly falling behind 3-0 before breaking Stakusic’s second service game to bring her closer. She went on to win her next game followed by the two winning their respective service games. The finale resulted in Stakusic breaking Mikulskye’s serve to win the match. 

Mboko, who faced off against Croatian Jana Fett, had a harder time in her matchup, losing it in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. The Canadian had difficulty capitalizing on her service games, only winning half of them in the first set and losing all three of them in her second set. 

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Despite not winning a game in the second set, Mboko put up a fight in each one. Five of the six games in the second set wound up in deuces, though Mboko could not put Fett away. Mboko’s potential remains sky-high and the result here should not prove to be a major sign of concern moving forward. 

The doubles final also went down today with sisters Carmen and Ivana Corley besting the duo composed of Canadian Kayla Cross and her American partner Liv Hovde in three sets, 7-6(6), 6-3, 10-3. Though both duos struggled with their service games through the first two sets, the Corley sisters found their footing in the third set, winning all their service games and breaking their opponents’ serves four times. 

The singles final will take place today at noon with Stakusic looking to win yet another title in 2023. She previously took home the trophies at the W60 in Berkeley and the W25 in Valladolid, Spain in September.