Above photo: Kevin Kylar. Photo courtesy of Karl Mendoza at www.kamera8studios.ca.
News from the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, July 8-16 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.
Monday’s play will feature the start of women’s main draw singles and the final round of men’s singles qualifying. In the night match on Stadium Court (not before 6 pm), Aleksandra Wozniack takes on fellow Canadian Leylah Annie Fernandez. Wozniack achieved a career high world ranking of No. 21 in 2009 and reached the second round of women’s singles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In women’s doubles Monday, the Winnipeg team of Monika Popovic/Kylie Waschuk meets the duo of Mayo Hibi (JPN)/Jessika Ponchet (FRA).
Locals Fall In Qualifying
Winnipeggers Kevin Kylar and Shane Nicholls lost in men’s singles qualifying Sunday at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. Kylar was defeated 6-3, 6-1 by Luke Bambridge of Great Britain, while Nicholls was beat 6-0, 6-0 by Denmark’s Mikael Torpegaard.
The tournament marked the third straight pro circuit event for Kylar and Nicholls: they both played the Canada F3 Futures in Kelowna (June 26-30) and the Canada F4 Futures in Saskatoon (July 3-7). Kylar, Manitoba’s top ranked player, is ranked No. 29 in men’s singles in Canada. Nicholls is ranked second in the province and No. 57 nationally.
Shane Nicholls. Photo courtesy of Karl Mendoza at www.kamera8studios.ca.
Failla Wins Battle Of Californians
California players Jessica Failla and Alexandra Stevenson met on Sunday for a spot in the women’s singles main draw, with Failla winning 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.
The match-up featured two players with past success on the courts at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. In 2016, Failla beat No. 1 seed Julia Glushko of Israel 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. Stevenson, meanwhile, won a bronze medal in tennis at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.
Stevenson was a marquee draw for local tennis fans at the ’99 Games. Earlier that summer she reached the semifinals of Wimbledon as an 18-year-old qualifier, losing 6-1, 6-1 to Lindsay Davenport. Stevenson, who achieved a career high ranking of No. 18 in the world in 2002, beat former Winnipegger Daniella Silva 6-1, 7-5 in the first round of qualifying on Saturday at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger.
With her victory over Stevenson, the 20-year-old Failla now takes on defending champion Francesca Di Lorenzo of New Albany, Ohio. Di Lorenzo beat Failla last year in the round 16 en route to winning the title.