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Tennis Canada – Rising American star Catherine Bellis top seed at $50,000 tournament in Toronto

Toronto, October 28, 2016 – Tennis Canada announced Friday that Canadians Francoise Abanda, Bianca Andreescu, Gabriela Dabrowski, Charlotte Robillard-Millette, and Carol Zhao will be among the athletes competing for the $50,000 Tevlin Challenger title in Toronto next week. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the tournament will be held from October 31 to November 6 at Aviva Centre in Toronto. Several other world-class athletes will be joining the Canadians, including world No. 101 Catherine Bellis of the United States, former world No. 27 Laura Robson from Great Britain, and last year’s runner-up Jovana Jaksic of Serbia.

Abanda (Montreal) will be the top-ranked Canadian in the draw. The 19-year-old, currently ranked a career-high world No. 169, took home her third Challenger title earlier this month at a $25K event in Redding, California. Abanda, who reached the second round of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in July, will be making her fifth appearance at the Tevlin Challenger.

Sixteen-year-old Andreescu (Mississauga, Ont.) will look to continue her recent success as she returns home. Just last week, Andreescu reached the final of the $50,000 Saguenay National Bank Challenger, before falling to fellow rising star 17-year-old Bellis. In August, she captured her maiden professional title at the $25,000 Gatineau tournament. She currently sits at No. 7 on the junior world rankings and No. 321 on the pro ranks.  
Zhao (Richmond Hill, Ont.) will be joining her compatriots in the main draw. Zhao turned pro earlier this season after a successful three-year NCAA Stanford University, and she currently holds a world ranking of No. 406.

Dabrowski (Ottawa) and Robillard-Millette (Blainville, Que.) are both recipients of wild cards. Dabrowski has enjoyed plenty of success at the Tevlin Challenger in the past, winning the singles crown in 2014 to go along with four doubles titles. She represented Canada at the Olympic Games in Rio this past August, reaching the second round in women’s doubles alongside Eugenie Bouchard. For her part, 17-year-old Robillard-Millette is fresh off a quarter-final appearance in Saguenay, where she also reached the doubles final with Andreescu.

Among the other players set to compete next week are world No. 132 Elise Mertens of Belgium, former world No. 30 Michaella Krajicek of Netherlands, and one half of last year’s defending doubles champions, American Maria Sanchez. Each will look to join an impressive list of past champions, including former world No. 5 and Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard (2012), three-time WTA titlist Heather Watson (2010), 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki (2007), former world No. 21 Aleksandra Wozniak (2005), and last year’s winner Tatjana Maria of Germany.

The $50,000 Tevlin Challenger will take place at the Centre of Excellence, the indoor tennis facility at Aviva Centre in Toronto, home of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank. Main draw action will begin on Monday. Admission is free for fans all week.

About Tennis Canada

Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, 10 professional ITF-sanctioned events and financially supports 12 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates national junior training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada, please visit our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts (Toronto):
Sarah Grossman, National Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Professional Tennis
       416-650-7922, or
Nicole Watts, Manager, Communications
       416-665-9777 ext. 4092, or

Media Contacts (Montréal):
Valerie Tetreault, Regional Manager, Communications and Media Relations
         514-273-1515 ext. 6259,
Justine Poirier, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
         514-273-1515 ext. 6291,