It was a final between two of tennis’ brightest rising stars on Sunday with 16-year-old Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and 17-year-old American Catherine Bellis going head-to-head for the singles title at the eleventh edition of the $50,000 Saguenay National Bank Challenger.
In the end, it was the older Bellis, seeded first in the tournament, who came away with a 6-4, 6-2 victory to capture the biggest professional title of her career to date. The American played a virtually flawless brand of tennis in the match and throughout the week, going through the draw without losing more than four games in a set.
“I am so happy right now, this is the best day of my career so far,” newly crowned champion Bellis said. “Bianca (Andreescu) had a great week, she played so well to get to the final and I am sure this won’t be the last time we’ll play eachother.”
With the win, Bellis picks up her second title of the season and she will reach a career-high WTA ranking on Monday, improving on her previous best of no. 110.
Despite the loss, Andreescu still enjoyed a strong week in Saguenay, reaching the final in singles and doubles. This was the biggest pro final of her career and she will break into the Top 400 on the WTA rankings for the first time. At 16 years of age, Andreescu is the youngest finalist in tournament history.
“Today wasn’t my best day, but Cici (Bellis) deserves all of the credit, she didn’t let me into the match and made it really tough on me,” Andreescu said. This was still a big week for me, I am proud about making my first $50,000 Challenger final, especially here at home.”