The quarter-finals were played on Friday at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger and the lineup featured three Canadians, Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC), Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON).
Since the start of the week, Andreescu has been surprising fans in Gatineau. After deafeating the tournament’s fifth seed yesterday, the 15-year-old beat third-seeded Shuko Ayoma of Japan 6-0, 7-5 to reach the semifinals. Andreescu got off to a flying start, but had to overcome a 2-4 deficit in the second set to complete the straight sets win. Andreescu, ranked no. 37 on the ITF junior rankings, is playing her first professional tournament this week. She will face Pan Am Games medalist Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico in Saturday’s semifinals. Rodriguez beat her compatriot Marcela Zacarias 7-6(5), 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Zhao, ranked no. 252 in the world, booked her place in her second semifinal of the summer thanks to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over American Lauren Albanese. The top player at Stanford University is looking to win her first pro title and will take on top-seeded American Alexa Glatch for a spot in Sunday’s final. Glatch beat 2014 finalist Abanda 6-4, 6-2 on Friday. The 25-year-old, ranked no. 155 in the world, had enjoyed success on Canadian soil having won the Saguenay and Toronto Challengers in 2008.
The semifinals get underway at 11 :30 am on Saturday and will be followed by the doubles final pitting Zhao and Aussie Jessica Moore against Mexico’s Rodriguez and Zacarias.