Thursday, November 13, 2014


Gaby (Gabriela) Dabrowski of Ottawa captured her first career professional singles title on November 2nd at the Tevlin Challenger. She defeated American Maria Sanchez 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7) in a nail-biting final in which she managed to claw her way back from a deficit several times.

In the first set, Gaby was down a break at 2-4 but managed to win four games in a row to take the first set. After losing the second set, Gaby found her game at 2-5 down in the third, again putting together a four-game winning streak. Unable to take the fifth game in a row, the third set was decided by a tiebreaker. Gaby found herself down 2-5 in the tiebreaker and overcame a match point against her to take the title.

“I struggled through the whole match finding my range,” Dabrowski said. “I wouldn’t even say that I eventually found it, but some shots I hit were finally more penetrating and deeper so she wasn’t able to come into the net as much. Everyone says take it one point at a time, and that’s really what I did. Being able to come back in the third set, it proves to me that I can come back in those situations. I felt like I had chances all over the place, and I was just missing a lot of them so although I was down 5-2 I felt like if I kept pushing I could get it back and luckily I did.”

“It’s very special that my first title is in Canada,” she said. “That means a lot to me. I’ve played this tournament so many years and everybody has been so good to me that winning it here is way cooler than winning it in any other country. I just hope I can do it again. I have so much to work on still, and I feel like I didn’t even come close to playing my best tennis this week. I think that’s a positive that I was able to win a lot of matches without even feeling 100 per cent.”

Winning a first title can be elusive and prove how much of winning at tennis depends on both confidence and mental strength. Gaby had lost four professional singles finals prior to this breakthrough. But Gaby is no stranger to winning big singles titles. In 2006 she was the first Canadian to win Les Petits As, a world class under 14 event played in France and in 2009 she won the Junior Orange Bowl, the first Canadian to so since Carling Bassett-Seguso won that world championship in 1982.

Gabriela and her partner Tatjana Maria also faced Maria Sanchez and her partner Taylor Townsend in the doubles event at the Tevlin Challenger. It was another hard fought match in which the Canadian- German duo lost 15-13 in the super tiebreaker.

Gaby, this time partnered with Anna Tatishuli, was able able to extract a little revenge for that loss in Captiva Island the next weekend (Nov 9th). Gaby gained her 12th professional doubles win by beating Maria Sanchez and Asia Muhammad in straight sets.

The Tevlin Challenger has been a great opportunity for our Canadian Girls to gain valuable experience. It was at this event that Gaby, partnered with Sharon Fichman of Toronto, won her first two doubles titles in 2007 and 2010. Gaby and Sharon are members of Canada’s Federation Cup squad. Last year they reached the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup by taking out the number one seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Photo courtesy Peter Figura.