DRUMMONDVILLE, March 16, 2017
Five Canadians headlined Wednesday’s first round matches at the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger which is being held until March 19 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Félix Auger-Aliassime from Montreal played the first match of the evening session against Swiss Adrien Bossel. After a fast start, the 16-year-old Canadian needed to go the distance against an opponent who is 14 years his senior. Bossel, ranked no. 587 in the world, broke Auger-Aliassime’s serve twice in the second set and jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third before Auger-Aliassime mounted an impressive comeback to pull out a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win after one hour and 48 minutes.
“I started really well, but then I started to struggle with my serve and that’s what cost me the second set,” Auger-Aliassime said after the match. “In the third set, I was still having trouble finding my game, but I kept fighting and the crowd really helped me find a way to win.”
Auger-Aliassime, champion at the Sherbrooke Futures last week, is now riding a six match win streak. He will face his compatriot and the tournament’s second seed, Peter Polansky from Thornhill, in the second round on Thursday.
Polansky booked his spot in round two thanks to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Grégoire Barrère of France. The world no. 124 reached the quarterfinals in Drummondville last year. Polansky beat Auger-Aliassime in their first career meeting at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger last summer.
After being forced to withdraw last week with a virus, Denis Shapovalov was back in action on Wednesday night against Brit Edward Corrie, the reigning finalist in Drummondville. The 17-year-old was aggressive from the outset and came away with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph.
“I was happy to be back on court. I knew that I was going to have to work for my points against an experienced player like Edward (Corrie), who reached the final here last year,” Shapovalov commented. “Tomorrow I play Quentin Halys who I know well from our junior days.”
Brayden Schnur made it four Canadians in the second round after defeating US-American Sekou Bangoura 6-3, 6-3. He will take on Germany’s Tim Puetz for a place in the final eight. For his part, Filip Peliwo from Vancouver fell 6-2, 6-1 to Gleb Sakharov of France. Sakharov finished runner up in Gatineau and Sherbooke to Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime, respectively.
Sakaharov will next take on the tournament’s number six Tennys Sandgren, who defeated Luke Saville of Australia 6-4, 6-2 after 66 minutes.