Smith Tops Bester To Advance At Drummondville Challenger

DRUMMONDVILLE, March 15, 2017

Main draw action kicked off on Tuesday at the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger which is being held until March 19 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.

Just one of the six Canadians in the main draw contested their first round match on opening day. Wild card recipient Philip Bester from Vancouver was defeated 6-3, 6-4 by Australian John-Patrick Smith, ranked No. 243 in the world. The lefty from Townsville reached a career-best ranking of No. 108 in September of 2015 and has won two titles on the ATP Challenger Tour, including the 2015 edition of the Drummondville National Bank Challenger.

In the second round, Smith will face Laurent Lokoli, who upset the tournament’s top seed, Adam Pavlasek of the Czech Republic, winning 6-3, 6-3. The 22-year-old Frenchman won 69 per cent of his first service points and broke serve four times to advance in 61 minutes.

Fourth seed Ruben Bemelmans emerged victorious from the all-Belgian-affair with Yannik Reuter, winning 7-5, 6-1. The 29-year-old from Genk sent down five aces and converted four of his five break point chances to secure victory in one hour and 10 minutes. Next up for Bemelmans will be the winner of the encounter between British qualifier Liam Broady and Eduardo Struvay of Colombia.

Canadian Teens Open Drummondville Campaign On Wednesday

Canadian rising stars Félix Auger-Aliassime from Montreal and Denis Shapovalov from Richmond Hill, champions at the Sherbrooke and Gatineau Futures, will contest their opening round matches on Wednesday evening. Auger-Aliassime will face Swiss qualifier Adrien Bossel followed by Shapovalov against Brit Edward Corrie.

The Canadian teens advanced to the second round in doubles on Monday night thanks to a 6-7, 6-4, 10-7 victory over US-American Sekou Bangoura and Corrie.