Strong Canadian Contingent For Gatineau National Bank Challenger

Gatineau Challenger (photo: Les Internationaux de tennis de Gatineau)

GATINEAU, July 8, 2016

Tennis Canada announced Thursday the list of Canadian players who have confirmed their participation in the Gatineau National Bank Challenger. The tournament will be mixed for its third edition with the staging of a $25,000 ITF women’s Challenger combined with a new $75,000 ATP men’s Challenger. The event will be held from August 6-14, 2016.

On the men’s side, Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montréal, QC), Frank Dancevic (Nigara Falls, ON), Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC), and Denis Shapovalov (Mississauga, ON) will all play. Dancevic has enjoyed success in Quebec in the past, winning three titles in Granby and reaching the final in Drummondville last year. The former world no. 65 recently reached the third round of the ATP event on grass in Nottingham after playing his way through qualifying. Rising stars Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are both currently competing at Wimbledon. Last month, Auger-Aliassime came within one point of being crowned junior French Open champion at just 15 years of age. In 2015, he became the youngest player in history to qualify for the main draw of a Challenger and in the process, became the first player born in the 2000s to hold an ATP ranking.  A few months later, he reached the quarter-finals of the Granby National Bank Challenger. For his part, Shapovalov took home top honours at the junior Wimbledon warm up event in Roehampton just last week and he has already won three Futures titles in 2016, putting him at no. 374 in the world at only 17 years old.

On the women’s side, Françoise Abanda (Montréal, QC), Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (Mississauga, ON), and Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC) will try and become the first Canadian champion in Gatineau. Abanda came close during the inaugural edition of the tournament where she fell in the final to Stéphanie Foretz of France. The 19-year-old Canadian is ranked no. 276 in the world and has won two ITF Challenger titles in her career, including one this year in Mexico. Andreescu is also a former finalist in Gatineau having finished runner up last year in what was her first professional tournament. Andreescu is returning from a foot injury that kept her off the court for the past six months. For her part, 17-year-old Robillard-Millette achieved a career best junior ranking of no. 4 last season and fell to Andreescu in the final of the National Bank Junior Tennis Open in Repentigny last summer.

“This is a great group of Canadians that will be playing on the courts at Parc de l’Île in Gatineau this summer,” said Tournament Director Richard Quirion. “Fans will have the opportunity to watch our next generation of stars who are making a name for themselves on the international tennis scene.”