TORONTO – Canadian content at the US$2-million Rogers Cup took a hit with three first-round singles losses on Monday, leaving only Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., left in the tournament.
Stephanie Dubois, of Laval, Que., who made the third round of the tournament in 2006 and 2008 when it was played in Montreal, Heidi El Tabakh of Oakville, Ont., and Valerie Tetreault of Montreal all lost first-round matches at the Rexall Centre.
The 22-year-old Dubois, ranked 112th, double-faulted three times in the opening game of her match against Italy’s Roberta Vinci and lost 6-1, 6-2.
The 194th ranked El Tabakh, 22, took 17th-ranked Samantha Stosur of Australia to two tie-breakers in losing 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4).
Tetreault, 21, ranked 161st, lost 6-2, 6-4 to Agnes Szavay of Hungary.
“I did great at the Rogers Cup for the past four years,” Dubois said. “So this for me is a little bit disappointing.”
Wozniak, Canada’s top-ranked women’s player, meets Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova on Tuesday.
Dubois, who reached the second round in 2007 when the event was held in Toronto, had her serve broken seven times by Vinci.
“I didn’t really serve well today,” she said. “It was not a good day for me.”
El Tabakh, who began playing tennis at the age of eight in Egypt where she was born, was victorious in qualifying to earn a spot in the first round. She had the support of her brother, Meeto, a player at the University of Illinois, who was on hand to coach her.
“I was a little bit nervous before the match, but I got out there and didn’t think about it too much,” she said. “I got broke in the first game and thought if I think about it I’ll be too nervous, so I didn’t think about it and it was a very close first set; second set too.”
Despite the loss, El Tabakh feels that by qualifying for the tournament and by pushing Stosur to tie-breakers she has proved something to herself; making her re-evaluate where she plays in the future.
“It’s been a very good week for me,” she said. “I’ve played a lot of great tennis, I think, and just kind of proved to myself that I do belong at this level.
“I feel very good, very confident and it’s going to help my career, the couple of wins (in qualifying) that I’ve had here. Now that I can know that I can beat these girls.”
There were two mild upsets on Monday afternoon. The 27th-ranked Francesca Schiavone of Italy defeated 16th-ranked Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, while 33rd ranked Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine defeated 14th-ranked Marion Bartoli of France 6-4, 6-3.
Mauresmo had not played since Wimbledon.
The night match saw Maria Sharapova look impressive in a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 10 Nadia Petrova. Sharapova broke Petrova once in the first set and twice more in the second to run her record to 8-1 all-time against her fellow Russian.
In other matches, 71st-ranked Ai Sugiyama of Japan defeated 32nd-ranked Iveta Benesova of Russia 6-3, 6-4; 39th-ranked Aravane Rezai of France defeated 28th-ranked Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 7-5; 64th-ranked Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine defeated 53rd-ranked Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 7-6 (4) 6-2; 29th-ranked Sybille Bammer of Austria defeated 48th-ranked Anna Chakvetadze of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; 13th-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland defeated 31st-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-3, 6-3; and 20th-ranked Patty Schnyder of Switzerland defeated 21st-ranked Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 6-2, 6-1.
Dubois also lost her doubles match on Monday. Maria Kirilenko and Elena Vesnina of Russian defeated Dubois and Rebecca Marino of Vancouver 6-2, 6-7 (5), 10-6.
In other doubles action, Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Shuai Peng of China defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Vera Zvonareva of Russia 4-6, 6-0, 10-6; and Ipek Senoglu of Turkey and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazikstan defeated Chia-Jung Chuang of Taiwan and Marie-Eve Pelletier of Repentigny, Que. 6-4, 6-4.