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Israeli woman wins Quebec tennis tournament

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Israel’s Julia Glushko was the top female player at the National Bank Challenger tournament in Granby, Que., in July. (Vidal Keslassy photo)

Julia Glushko, Israel’s top-ranked female tennis player since 2015, won the $60,000 Granby National Bank Challenger tennis tournament in Granby, Que., on July 29, by defeating five opponents, including an upset of top seed Anna Rodionova of Australia, 6-4, 6-3, in the title match.

“I’m so happy because it’s been a long time since I won a $60,000 tournament. There was a lot of positive energy and I enjoyed my week in Granby,” said the 28-year-old Glushko, who earned $9,119 for her victory and is now No. 161 in the professional tennis rankings. “Anna (Rodionova) is a close friend, so it was not easy to play her. But I’m very happy with how I played.”

As a result of winning the tournament, Glushko is optimistic about her future in the sport.

“Something has clicked with my game since I started working with my coach, Karen Shlomo. I hope I’m able to build on it,” she said.

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She dominated the title match with aggressive forehands and a strong serve, with a minimum of unforced errors.

“Julia plays a very aggressive game and when she is in a zone, she becomes difficult, if not impossible, to defeat,” said Canadian tennis player Sharon Fichman, who has lost two of her three career matches against Glushko.

Glushko also defeated four other opponents to secure her eighth International Tennis Federation singles title. She triumphed over Samantha Murray of Great Britain, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4, in her only three-set match in the first round, before defeating Erika Sema of Japan, 6-4, 6-3, Akiko Omae, also from Japan, 7-6 (4), 6-3 and Canadian Bianca Andresscu of Mississauga, Ont., who withdrew due to an injury.

Despite winning her Granby title and her finish as a finalist in a tournament in Winnipeg earlier in July, Glushko’s ranking was not high enough to secure a berth at the 2018 Rogers Cup women’s professional tournament that concluded in Montreal on Aug. 12.

Julia plays a very aggressive game and when she is in a zone, she becomes difficult, if not impossible, to defeat.
– Sharon Fichman

Glushko’s best years in pro tennis were in 2013 and 2014, when she finished in the third round of the 2013 U.S. Open and the third round of the 2014 French Open, achieving her highest singles ranking (No. 79) that year.

She had her best performance in Canada at the 2013 Rogers Cup tournament in Toronto, winning two qualifying round matches, before challenging former U.S. Open winner Samantha Stosur of Australia in the main draw, losing to her 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.

“I had one of the best weeks in my career at the 2013 Rogers Cup,” said Glushko.

Glushko was born in Donetsk, Ukraine, and immigrated with her parents to Israel when she was eight. Her parents, both of whom are tennis instructors, honed her game at the Israel Tennis Centres.

She has played Fed Cup for Israel since 2007 and is now playing doubles with her sister, Lina Glushko, who is 18.

“I am glad that Lina loves tennis as much as I do. It is amazing that we are both playing for our country,” said Glushko.