Ottawa tennis prodigy Gabriela Dabrowski will play the biggest match of her career on Sunday when she faces world No. 1 Kristina Mladenovic of France in the U18 girlsí singles final of the prestigious Dunlop Orange Bowl tournament.
The 17-year-old Dabrowski, the world's 48th-ranked junior, upset No. 13 Nastja Kolar of Slovenia 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(5) yesterday in the semi-final. After a back-and-forth first two sets which was highlighted by penetrating groundstrokes, Dabrowski fell behind 5-3 in the third set. She shifted tactics, executing sharp angles and backhands down the line to perfection as well as a gutsy overhead smash to save a match point, then won the ensuing tiebreaker.
After reaching the round of four at last week's Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships and the final at the Yucatan Cup in Mexico two weeks ago, Dabrowski has defeated the likes of 29th-ranked Beatrice Capra and World No. 27 Polina Leykina en route to Sunday's final.She is on the verge of passing Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., as the top-ranked Canadian junior.