Canada's future in women's tennis looks bright

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:27 PM ET

MONTREAL — Canadian women's tennis is in a lull, with only one player in the top 100, but Montreal's Francoise Abanda represents a bright future.

The 5'10" 13-year-old won the U16 Canadian championship at Uniprix Stadium on Friday and is being touted as part of a generation on the possible cusp of stardom.

She easily bested Ontarian Evangeline Repic 6-2, 6-1 and should improve on her world junior ranking of 741.

Abanda joined Tennis Canada's development program last year and is on the practice court 18 hours a week at the national training centre in north-end Montreal, right next door to Uniprix Stadium.

Abanda had a chance to size up some of the world's very best at the Rogers Cup and says that she plans to take the big stage in the next few years.

"One of my dreams is to play in the Rogers Cup," says Abanda. "I had the chance to hang out with several players this week, I talked to #1 Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak and (Canadian pro) Stephanie Dubois."

Abanda's first big breakout came last December when she won the Orange Bowl tournament in Florida, the most prestigious 12-and-under tournament in the world.

Her next goal is to win an ITF-sanctioned junior tournament by the end of the year and crack the top 200 in the world junior rankings.

Ambitious plans for a girl who doesn't turn 14 until next winter.


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