Abanda Wins Major U12 Title in Auray
February 23, 2009
Montreal’s Françoise Abanda captured the girls’ singles Super Open 12 title in Auray, France on Sunday, defeating Russian Anastasia Rychagova 6-3, 7-6 to secure the championship. The esteemed event is one of the stops on the European Junior Tour.
Abanda, who is part of Tennis Canada’s national U12 program, performed incredibly well and did not drop a set all week. She steamrolled through the 22 country competition with a 6-3, 6-1 first round win over Bianka Bekefi, 6-1, 6-0 victory against France’s Océane Mouton, 6-1, 6-0 defeat over Spanish Paula Badosa Gibert, 6-3, 6-1 quarter-final win against France’s Victoria Muntean and a 6-0, 6-3 victory against France’s Vinciane Remy in the semis.
Abanda faced her stiffest competition in the final versus Rychagova, having to overcome deficits in the second set to earn the top prize.
“Françoise played a flawless first set,” said Andre Labelle, Under 12 program leader and national coach. “Even though she was down 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set, she never stopped fighting.”
The impressive list of past champions at this tournament puts Abanda in exceptional company. Previous winners include World No.1 Rafael Nadal, World No.2 Dinara Safina and two-time Auray champions Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray.
Abanda’s win is a significant accomplishment and positive progress. She reached the Round of 16 at the singles event and claimed the doubles title in 2008 alongside Daniella Silva (Winnipeg, Manitoba).