September 20, 2023

Open Court


Granby Challenger spotlight: Katherine Sebov

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The women’s portion of the Granby Challenger moved indoors on Thursday because of weather concerns early in the morning.

So the $60,000 ITF tournament became an indoor event for the day – 45 minutes away at a club in Sherbrooke.

And the fast surface worked well for Katherine Sebov.

The Canadian rolled over Olivia Tjandramulia of Australia 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

She’ll play American Usue Arconada in the quarters.

Here’s what the end of the match looked like. 

Sebov, still just 19, was a very good junior. She peaked at No. 22 in the rankings exactly three years ago. She beat players like Anna Kalinskaya, American Kayla Day, Katie Swan, Vera Lapko – and was already playing at the ITF junior level at 13. 

At 15, she qualified at both Roehampton and the Wimbledon juniors. 

Sebov in her Grand Slam debut at the 2014 Wimbledon juniors. She lost to Gabriella Taylor, who lost in the first round of the women’s event this year to Genie Bouchard. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Sebov worked some with the Tennis Canada coaches (former player-turned-coach Marie-Eve Pelletier was with her at that Wimbledon). And with Simon Bartram in Toronto. But she never moved permanently to the national centre in Montreal. And she would travel to California periodically to consult with groundstroke guru Robert Landsdorp.

Noted coach Robert Lansdorp watches on as Sebov played the US Open juniors in 2014. He has recently been working with Genie Bouchard. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

You can see it in the sweet groundstrokes. Sebov is also one of the rare players to markedly prefer her backhand. Many of the women players prefer that side, but few make more of an effort to run around and hit it. And you can see why; it’s a sweet shot.

Now is the tough part

Sebov at the 2015 Australian Open. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Sebov is currently ranked No. 275, down from a career best of No. 242 about a year ago despite playing the pro circuits regularly for the last 2 1/2 years.

She reached the final in Granby a year ago, so this week is an important one for her. Even with the quarterfinal, she’ll remain outside the top 300 unless she wins at least another match. 

And she’s very, very good. She has even gotten her feet wet in Fed Cup over the last year. But there are so many like her, playing at the same levels, all competing for opportunities to move up the ladder.

Sebov at the 2014 French Open juniors. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

You would expect to see Sebov in the Rogers Cup qualifying, and also in the $100,000 tournament in Vancouver the following week. These opportunities, the bonus some players can have because of the country of their birth.

They are great opportunities to jump through one of those ranking plateaus and give yourself a chance to play the bigger events more regularly. So it’s key that she takes advantage.

Sebov at the 2014 US Open. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

About Post Author