DRUMMONDVILLE, March 15, 2018 (Press Release)
The final first round singles matches took place on Wednesday at the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger. The tournament is being played from March 10-18 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Wildcard recipient Samuel Monette (Montreal, QC) was the first Canadian in action on Wednesday when he faced qualifier Ruan Roelfse of South Africa. Monette began the match with high intensity, breaking his opponent early on while remaining dominant during his service games. After taking the first set, the Canadian continued to outperform his opponent in all aspects of the game and took the match 6-3, 6-4. Monette has had a busy few weeks leading up to Drummondville, reaching the quarter-finals at the Gatineau Futures and falling in the first round in Sherbrooke the following week.
Looking to join his compatriots in the second round was Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON), but standing in his way was former world no. 57 Michal Przysiezny of Poland. After a slow start to the match, the Canadian turned up his level of play and battled back from a break down to take the lead in the match. He continued his momentum into the second where he went up an early break and never looked back, defeating his opponent 7-6(3), 6-2.
For his part, Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC), who is in search of his third Challenger title of the year, was taking on Ante Pavic of Croatia. Despite getting off to a shaky start, the Canadian found himself up a break, but was unable to close out the set on serve. But then a costly double fault by his opponent gave Pospisil set point, which he was sure to capitalize on. The Vancouver native then went on to break his opponent and ultimately take the match 7-5, 6-3 in just a little over an hour.
The final singles match of the day opposed the next generation of Canadian talent in Jack Mingjie Lin (Markham, ON) and tour veteran and Canadian Davis Cup captain Frank Dancevic. Currently playing in the NCAA, Lin was able to hold his own against a more experienced Dancevic, engaging in long rallies and returning every ball that was sent his way. It was Dancevic in the end who got the better of his compatriot by a score of 7-5, 6-1.
Two all-Canadian teams were scheduled to play on Wednesday, with the duo of Justin Boulais (Toronto, ON) and Pavel Krainik (Toronto, ON) coming close to knocking off the team of Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia and Nicola Kuhn of Spain. They were, however, unable to capitalize on their set points in each of the sets and fell 7-6(7), 7-6(5). The other Canadian team of Samuel Monette and Brayden Schnur were forced to withdraw, allowing Filip Peliwo and Luis David Martinez of Venezuela to move on to the quarter-finals.
Wednesday was a good day for the tournament’s top seeds as Denis Kudla (no. 5) eliminated French qualifier Antoine Escoffier and Henri Laaksonen (no. 2) of Switzerland took care of Columbian qualifier Alejandro Gomez.
The Drummondville National Bank Challenger is part of the group of tournaments sponsored by National Bank, a group that includes combined events in Granby and Gatineau as well as a men’s Challenger in Calgary and two women’s Challengers in Saguenay and Winnipeg.
The Drummondville National Bank Challenger is the final stop in a series of three tournaments held in Quebec during the months of February and March. The tournament is preceded by the Gatineau Futures presented by Turpin Group, National Bank Financial and the Subaru Sherbrooke Futures presented by Énergie 106.1.