Photo: Martin Sidorjak

16-year-old Victoria Mboko’s first title defence is still alive as the Canadian is into the semifinals of the ITF W60 event in Saskatoon.

Mboko won her maiden title at the event last year at just 15 years old. She is two wins away from successfully defending the title, having not lost a set in her first three matches.

On Friday, Mboko defeated eighth seed Renata Zarazua with the loss of just three games. The Mexican is the second seed that the Canadian has defeated in Saskatoon, along with No. 4 Sachia Vickey in the first round.

Right from the start it was one-way traffic for the 16-year-old, who broke twice on her way to a 4-0 lead. Mboko never trailed in the match as she broke again to start the second set on her way to a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Three Canadians were competing in the quarter-finals on Friday, but Mboko was the only one to advance.

Read also: Three Things that Give Victoria Mboko the Advantage

American Grace Min is next up for Mboko after she moved past another Canadian teen, Kayla Cross. Min was up 5-2 when Cross, the 2022 Saskatoon doubles champion, retired with an injury. Mboko and Min met earlier this year on clay in Charleston, a match won by Min in straight sets.

Stacey Fung was also defeated in the quarter-finals, falling to Emina Bektas in straight sets. Fung, a three-time titlist on the ITF World Tour in 2023, fell behind a break early in both sets and was never able to recover either time as she was eliminated 6-4, 6-4.

Read also: Mboko Makes WTA Tour Debut in Granby

Bektas, the No. 3 seed, is the only seed left in the Saskatoon draw.

She will meet Katarina Kozarov for a spot in the final. The Serbian outlasted qualifier Alana Smith in a nearly-three-hour three-setter, finally advancing on her sixth match point.

The semifinals will take place on Saturday, starting with the Mboko-Min match at 11 am local time.