Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the list of players who will take part in the 2019 Tevlin Challenger. Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) will lead the Canadian contingent at this year’s tournament, which is part of the ITF Women’s Circuit and offers $60,000 in prize money, taking place between Monday, October 28th and Sunday November 3rd 2019 at Aviva Centre in Toronto.
Still just 17 years old, Fernandez has enjoyed an impressive 2019 so far. Her early-season form earned her a spot on Canada’s Fed Cup team for the World Group play-off in Prostejov, where she was selected to play singles. In June, Fernandez claimed the Junior French Open title, becoming the first top seed to win the event since 2004. She then won her first professional singles title at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger before falling just short in the Granby National Bank Challenger, where she lost in the final. Fernandez was also handed a main draw wildcard for Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in August.
Joining her at the Tevlin Challenger is 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens. A Fed Cup finalist in 2006, the Belgian, competing at the event for the first time, will be hoping to replicate the success of her compatriot Ysaline Bonaventure, who won the singles title in 2017. Flipkens was ranked as high as No. 13 on the WTA Tour in August 2013 and has reached the semi-finals of the French Open in doubles this year. Her entry into the Tevlin Challenger means Flipkens will compete in consecutive Canadian events after it was confirmed she will also play at the Saguenay Challenger a week earlier.
“There is a very strong player field at this year’s tournament,” commented Tournament Director Ryan Borczon. “In particular, we have a good variety of young players and more experienced players. As is the case every year, we are delighted to see strong Canadian representation in Toronto. We know they really enjoy competing here, on home soil, and I am sure each of them will be highly motivated to perform well and take home the title as the likes of Aleksandra Wozniak, Eugenie Bouchard and, more recently, Gabriela Dabrowski have done before.”
Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON) will also take part in the main draw, as will 2018 singles champion Quirine Lemoine. Last year, Lemoine defeated future Rogers Cup presented by National Bank and US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the semi-finals. The likes of Fernandez, Abanda, Zhao and the rest of the Canadian contingent will be hopeful of repeating Andreescu’s success, starting with a deep run at this year’s tournament.
The Tevlin Challenger is the final Canadian Challenger event in 2019. Admission is free at Aviva Centre for those that wish to attend.
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