Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tevlin Challenger Wrap-up

I was back at the Tevlin Challenger tennis tournament this weekend (see here for a blog entry about the tournament and my first weekend).

Similar to the Rogers Cup, and most other tennis tournaments, the final weekend is usually not very busy compared to earlier in the tournament. Many of the players, unfortunately, have left to go onto their next tournaments. During the first weekend, you have all the qualifying players (up to 32 singles players) and some main draw players around. Contrast this with the second weekend where you only have the 4 singles semifinalists and 4 doubles team semifinalists left.

While I was primarily driving again, it was a really slow couple of days, which was actually okay, because it gave me a chance to actually watch tennis; something I usually don't get to do during the Rogers Cup because it is so busy. It was also great to catch up with many of the Tennis Canada staff, officials and some of the volunteers whom I've worked with during the Rogers Cup.

On Saturday (Nov 10), there were only two matches played; one singles semi-final (the second semi-final was a walkover), and the doubles final. In the singles semi-final, Sabine Lisicki defeated Renata Voracova 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. The second semi-final was a walkover with Maria-Jose Argeri earning her berth in the championship after her opponent Naomi Cavaday could not play due to a high ankle sprain. In the doubles final, Canadians Sharon Fichman and Gabriela Dabrowski defeated Maria-Fernanda Alves and Christina Wheeler 6-3, 6-0. This win is the first professional doubles title for both players, with hopefully many to come.

On Sunday (Nov 11), there was only one match, the singles final. Sabine Lisicki defeated Maria-Jose Argeri 6-4, 6-4. It was a very well played match by the winner. Following the match, there was a awards ceremony where it was announced that next year's edition of the Telvin Challenger would be a $50,000 tournament, a step up from its current status as a $25,000 tournament, thanks again to the generosity of the Tevlin family.

All in all, it was a great couple of weekends. It was definitely a different atmosphere compared to the Rogers Cup, one which I could definitely say that I enjoyed as much, if not even more than the Rogers Cup itself. While there is a vast difference between he prize money that was available and the player rankings between the two tournaments, you can't help but to gain a new perspective and appreciation for all these players who are fighting tooth and nail for ranking points that will get them to the next level in their tennis careers. I hope that I'll see many of these players next year at the same tournament, or even in two years when the women are back in Toronto for the Rogers Cup.

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