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All-Canadian Clash In Québec

Rebecca Marino got past Heidi El Tabakh as two of Canada's rising stars duked it out.

Published September 13, 2010 12:00

All-Canadian Clash In Québec
Rebecca Marino

QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Two of Canada's rising stars took center stage in the first evening session of the Bell Challenge, putting their games on display in a tight two-setter, with Rebecca Marino edging Heidi El Tabakh, 76(6) 76(3).

Marino and El Tabakh had made career breakthroughs this year, both qualifying for their first Grand Slams, El Tabakh at the French Open and Marino at the US Open. Both of them displayed their talents on some of the biggest courts in the world too, El Tabakh playing Aravane Rezai on Court Philippe Chatrier and Marino playing Venus Williams on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

This week in Québec City, Marino and El Tabakh are practicing together and sharing a room; Marino's coach is also helping El Tabakh here.

"It kind of sucked having to play each other," El Tabakh said afterwards. "It was a great match though. It probably came down to two or three points. It's disappointing to lose when you're so close. I could have served better in the second set tie-break, where she was able to really attack my second serve."

"It was a good match, a tight scoreline, a bit of a nail-biter in the tie-breaks," Marino said. "It's tough to play a friend but it happens and you just get on with it. We both hit hard and have big serves. I served consistently well today."

And the match with Williams on Ashe? "Playing Venus on Arthur Ashe was a wonderful experience and definitely a career highlight," Marino added.

Seeds went 2-0, with No.6 seed Julia Goerges beating Andrea Hlavackova, 63 62, and No.8 seed Sofia Arvidsson beating Michaella Krajicek, 62 60. Johanna Larsson, Christina McHale and Anna Tatishvili also scored wins.

Stéphanie Foretz Gacon, Tamira Paszek, Alexa Glatch and Irina Falconi earned main draw berths with wins in the final round of qualifying.

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