(November 3, 2013) TORONTO– No. 7-seeded American Victoria Duval was crowned champion of the 2013 Tevlin Challenger on Sunday after her opponent in the final, top-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary, was forced to retire due to respiratory illness at the start of the second set to give Duval the 7-5 ret. victory at the $50K ITF Pro Circuit event at Rexall Centre in Toronto.
Babos advanced into the final despite struggling with illness all week, and though it was evident versus Duval she was not feeling well, the 20-year-old kept the match close. Duval started strongly, breaking to start the contest before Babos evened up it up after six games to make it 3-3. Babos took a medical timeout after falling behind again 5-4, with the pair then exchanging breaks before Duval was able to serve out the first set. Babos then went down 0-30 on her serve to start the second set before being unable to continue.
The win gives Duval her first career professional singles title and a sweep of the 2013 Tevlin Challenger trophies, as the 17-year-old also clinched her first pro-level doubles title on Friday alongside Canadian partner Francoise Abanda (Montreal).
“It feels great,” Duval said of capturing her first pro crown. “Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the match the way I wanted to but it was a really good experience. It was a great week here starting with the doubles. I had a really good time, so hopefully if I don’t come back it means I’m on to bigger and better things.”
Duval, currently ranked world No. 198, defeated three higher-ranked players en route to the trophy, world No. 113 Mandy Minella of Luxembourg in the quarter-finals, No. 141 Andrea Hlavackova of Czech Republic in the semifinals, and No. 95 Babos in the championship match.
“I think mentally is how this week has helped me the most,” Duval said. “Starting from the first round I’ve had to really struggle with tough matches so I think this is definitely a confidence booster for me.”
Taking place at the Centre of Excellence at Rexall Centre in Toronto, the Tevlin Challenger has been running for nine years. Duval now joins an impressive list of past champions that includes 2012 winner Eugenie Bouchard, who is now ranked world No. 32, Aleksandra Wozniak, Heather Watson, and Sabine Lisicki.