VANCOUVER, August 20, 2017 (Press Release)
Twice this summer, Jordan Thompson has advanced to the finals of an ATP Challenger event, and twice he’s come up short in his bid for victory. The 23-year-old from Australia has an opportunity to change his fortunes on Sunday at the Odlum Brown VanOpen as he plays in the 2017 men’s championship final.
Thompson, who’s ranked World No. 79, upended Stefano Napolitano of Italy 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals and will play Germany’s Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany. “I played great, it’s not every day you play a semifinal and win 6-0, 6-1. The game I lost I was a little broken, so getting the win is definitely positive,” said Thompson.
World No. 128 Stebe topped Belgian Joris De Loore in the other semifinal 6-2, 6-4 to reach his ninth career ATP Challenger Tour final. Sunday’s match is the first ever between Stebe and Thompson. The Aussie admits he doesn’t know a lot about his upcoming opponent.
“I haven’t seen too much of him, but I know he’s a very technical player. He beat Lleyton Hewitt in Davis Cup one year, so he’s definitely a quality player,” Thompson said.
Women’s Singles Final Set
Carol Zhao’s run at the Odlum Brown VanOpen came to an end on Saturday as she fell 6-3, 7-6(3) to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in one of two women’s singles semifinals at the Hollyburn Country Club. Kovinic hit eleven aces to just three for Zhao and won 83.3 percent of points on first serve in the victory.
“In the beginning of the second set, I felt that my focus was down. I had to push it more, she started playing really good and serving better. I think my serve was amazing in the second set with a lot of aces, and I feel like I’m playing better and better with every match,” said Kovinic.
The semifinal result is the best for Zhao since the Richmond Hill, Ontario native also made it to the semifinals of a $25,000 event in Alabama earlier this summer. She is the first Canadian to play in the semis at the Odlum Brown VanOpen since Sharon Fichman in 2013.
“It was a tough match today again, even in the first set it was very close. Especially with the whole stadium supporting Carol, it was a good fight from both sides and I’m really happy I’m into the final,” said Kovinic, who is currently ranked 262 spots ahead of Zhao at World No. 122.
The 22-year-old faces Maryna Zanevska of Belgium in Sunday’s final. Zanevska knocked out Jana Fett of Croatia 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the other semifinal. The Odlum Brown VanOpen championship final is the fourth career meeting between Kovinic and Zanevska, with the Montenegrin holding a 2-1 advantage. It is their first meeting since 2014.
Huey/Lindstedt To Take on Nielsen/Siljestrom For Doubles Crown
In men’s doubles, Treat Huey looks to repeat as champion at the Odlum Brown VanOpen after winning the title in 2015. Interestingly enough, Huey faced his partner from that year – Fredrik Nielsen of Denmark – in Saturday’s semifinal. Huey and Swede Robert Lindstedt knocked out Nielsen and Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden 7-6(0), 7-6(7).
A win on Sunday would be Huey’s fourth career men’s doubles title at the Odlum Brown VanOpen. He and Lindstedt face American James Cerretani and Great Britain’s Neal Skupski in a battle of the top two seeded teams in the men’s doubles main draw.
Moore/Rae Win Women’s Doubles Championnship
When two women have a combined total of 46 career ITF Pro Circuit doubles titles, it’s tough to bet against them in a final. The team of Jessica Moore of Australia and Jocelyn Rae of Great Britain topped American Desirae Krawczyck and Giuliana Olmos of Mexico 6-1, 7-5 to win the 2017 Women’s Doubles Championship at the Odlum Brown VanOpen.
“I think we played unbelievable to be honest, we were just on fire, playing point by point, and had great energy. Credit to them though, they came back in the second set and made it a contest,” said Moore. “It’s our third week playing together and we’re just having so much fun and I think that helps – just having fun out there.”
For Moore, it’s her 25th career ITF Pro Circuit doubles crown, while for Rae it’s her 23rd. “We’ve not been in many finals, especially this year, it’s always a different atmosphere and you put a little more pressure on yourself,” added Rae. ”We’re happy with how we came out and it was a fun match, although I was getting a little bit nervous at the end there, but glad we were able to close it out.”