Marino Crowned Champion At Saguenay National Bank Challenger

Saguenay, QC – Sunday September 26, 2010 – Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) won the biggest title of her blossoming career on Sunday at the $50,000 Saguenay National Bank Challenger.

The top-seeded Canadian put forth an impressive performance against second-seeded American Alison Riske, ranked no. 157 in the world, in a hotly disputed and highly entertaining singles final between the tournament’s top two seeds at the Saguenay Indoor Tennis Club, coming away with a 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) victory to capture her first title of the season and second of her career.

Marino, who was playing in her second final of 2010, was almost invincible on serve in the opening set and made the most of a break in the tenth game to take the early lead. The 19-year-old seemed well on her way to a straight sets win in the second set as she held three match points on Riske’s serve at 15-40, but just as the American had done all week, she played her best in the big moments and hit three winners with her back against the wall to ultimately comeback to win the tiebreak.

Riske started the final set just as she had finished the second and secured herself a 3-1 advantage with a break. This time it was Marino’s turn to turn the tables as she quickly broke back and much to the delight of the partisan crowd, the home favourite sent the match into a decisive third set tiebreak. The two players went back and forth in the tiebreak until Marino delivered the final blow and converted on her first match point at 6-5 with Riske serving.

“I’m so happy to have come out the winner today because the match definitely could have gone either way,” Marino said. “We both brought our best game to the court today and I’m glad we were able to give the fans a good show. I love coming here (to Saguenay) it is a great tournament
and I am honoured to be the event’s champion.”

Riske, 20, announced her arrival on the professional tennis scene earlier this year when she reached the semifinals as a qualifier at the WTA Tour grass court Wimbledon tune up event in Birmingham. Sunday’s triumph was Marino’s third over her opponent in as many tries. She is the first Canadian to capture the Saguenay crown in the event’s five year history.

It was also announced during the trophy presentation that the Saguenay National Bank Challenger will be back for a sixth edition in 2011. For all of the latest news and results from the National Bank Circuit, please visit www.circuitbanquenationale.com.

A Deep Field for the Bell Challenge

Montreal, September 13, 2010 A deep field which includes three Top 30 players will battle for top honours this week at the Bell Challenge, a $220,000 WTA Tour event currently underway in Quebec City.

A pair of Frenchwomen, world no. 14 Marion Bartoli and world no. 20 Aravane Rezai, lead arguably the deepest field in tournament history, one which also bodes 2009 finalist Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic and four Canadians. In fact, Heidi El Tabakh (Oakville, ON) and Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) will face off in an all-Canadian first round encounter this evening at PEPS on the campus of Laval University with the winner slated to face Bartoli in round two. Stéphanie Dubois (Laval, QC) will play seventh-seeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus in her first round match while Valérie Tétreault (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) will go up against fourth-seeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic, the same player she beat in the first round last year in Quebec City.

Visit www.challengebell.com for all of the latest news and results from the Challenge Bell.

Canada set for Davis Cup battle with the Dominican Republic this weekend

The Miele Canadian Davis Cup team of Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON), Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON), Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON) will take on the Dominican Republic this weekend in a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I second round play-off tie at the Rexall Centre in Toronto. The opening singles matches will be played on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. Tickets start as low as $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-877-2TENNIS. The tie will also be webcast live on www.lovemeansnothing.ca

Dubois, Tétreault and Marino head players list for Saguenay National Bank Challenger

The players list for the 2010 Saguenay National Bank Challenger to be held from September 18-26 was unveiled last week and a Canadian trio tops this year’s field which also includes a former champion and some former Top 50 players. Stéphanie Dubois, Valérie Tétreault, Heidi El Tabakh, Rebecca Marino, Eugenie Bouchard (Westmount, QC) and Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON) have all earned direct entry into the main draw. Meanwhile, Élisabeth Abanda (Montreal, QC), Katarena Paliivets (Richmond Hill, ON) and Ekaterina Shulaeva (Oakville, ON) have been awarded main draw wildcards by Tennis Canada.

This year’s players list also includes 2008 Saguenay champion Alexa Glatch of the United States, 2009 singles finalist and doubles champion Severine Beltrame of France who is also a former Top 50 player as is fellow entrant Marina Erakovic of New Zealand.

Brits dominate ITF wheelchair event in Montreal

Some of the world’s top wheelchair tennis players were at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal over the weekend to compete in the Tennis Canada International Championships, an ITF2 Series event. In the end, it was the Brits who dominated, sweeping the singles titles and exceling in doubles. World No. 16 Gordon Reid was crowned champion in men’s singles, World No. 9 Lucy Shuker won the women’s title and Jamie Burdekin claimed top honours in the quad division. The tournament’s top Canadian was Gary Luker (Stoney Creek, ON) who was a finalist in singles and doubles in the quad draws. Visit www.lovemeansnothing.ca for all of the final results.

Marino and Raonic Set To Make Debuts at the US Open

Montreal, August 30, 2010 – Two of Canada’s rising young stars will experience the biggest moment of their professional careers on Monday when they take to the court for their first Grand Slam main draw match at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) and Milos Raonic (Thornhill, ON), both 19 years of age, won three tough qualifying matches over the weekend to earn a coveted spot in the main draw of the final Grand Slam of the season. Marino beat fellow Canadian Sharon Fichman (Toronto, ON) in the final round on Sunday and will take on Ksenia Pervak of Russia, ranked no. 100 in the world, in her Major debut. For his part, Raonic continued his impressive summer and beat three quality players en route to a main draw berth. He will take on Australia’s Carsten Ball, ranked no. 145 on the ATP rankings. Not to be outdone, Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) was the third Canadian to successfully qualify for the U.S. Open main draw and in doing so for the second consecutive year, he earned the right to play Argentine Juan Monaco, seeded 30th in the tournament, in his first round match on Tuesday. This marks the first time this season that a Canadian man will play in the main draw of a Grand Slam and the first time since last year’s Australian Open that there will be two men taking part in the big dance.

Meanwhile, Canada’s top player, Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) will also begin her U.S. Open campaign on Monday against Australian qualifier Sally Peers, ranked no. 201 in the world. Recovering from forearm tendinitis, Wozniak hopes to repeat her performance from a year ago when she reached the third round in New York and defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the process.

Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON), Marie-Ève Pelletier (Repentigny, QC) and Wozniak will be Canada’s three representatives in doubles at the final Major of 2010. Seeded second in the men’s draw, Nestor and his Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic will go up against Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Roger in their first round encounter. For her part, Pelletier will be testing the waters with a new partner this week in Michaella Krajicek of the
Netherlands. The pair will open against the thirteenth-seeded team of Monica Niculescu and Shahar Peer.

Wozniak will team up with Russia’s Anna Chakvetadze and they will battle the Swedish duo of Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson.
Top juniors head to Repentigny for prestigious event.The best junior players in the world are in Repentigny this week to make their final U.S. Open preparations this week at the National Bank Canadian International Junior Open, a prestigious Grade 1 event on the ITF Junior
Circuit which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010.

Gabriela Dabrowski (Ottawa, ON), Eugenie Bouchard (Westmount, QC), Élisabeth and Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) and Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) are just a few of the Canadian names who will go head-tohead with the world’s best at the biggest junior tournament in Canada.

The ladies will take centre stage on Monday at Parc Larochelle with singles and doubles action in the girls draws while the boys will take their turn on Tuesday. For all of the latest results, please visit the tournament’s official website www.tennis-junior-repentigny.com.