The championship match at the eleventh edition of the Saguenay National Bank Challenger promises to be a memorable one between two of tennis’ brightest stars. Canadian Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and American Catherine Bellis will play for the title at the $50,000 Challenger on Sunday.
Sixteen-year-old Andreescu came through a long match of more than two hours, 30 minutes to defeat second-seeded American Jennifer Brady 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5) despite not breaking her opponent’s serve once. The junior world no. 7 will be looking to win her second pro title after being crowned champion of the Gatineau National Bank Challenger this summer.
“During the match I just tried to fight until the end even though I don’t think I played my best tennis and I am very happy to be in the final,” Andreescu said. “I am really looking forward to playing Cici (Bellis) tomorrow, we’re the same age and play a similar style, so it will be fun to see who wins.”
Andreescu will be in tough in the final against Bellis, the tournament’s top seed. The 17-year-old benefited from a walkover in the semifinals after her compatriot Sachia Vickery was forced to withdraw due to illness. At the U.S. Open this summer, Bellis qualified for the main draw and reached the third round before falling to the eventual champion, Angelique Kerber. She also reached the quarter-finals in Quebec City last month.
“Obviously, this is not how I wanted to make the final,” Bellis said. “I love Saguenay, I am really happy to be here. This is my first Challenger final at this level, so it’s an important week for me and I am happy with how I’ve played.”
Following her win in singles, Andreescu returned to the court to play the doubles final alongside her compatriot Charlotte Robillard-Millette. The Canadian pair were defeated 6-4, 6-7(4), 10-6 by the Romanian duo of Elena Bogdan and Mihaela Buzarnescu.