GATINEAU, July 19, 2017
Six male Canadians headlined Tuesday’s singles action and three of them managed to move into the second round of the Challenger Banque Nationale in Gatineau. The tournament features a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $75,000 ATP Challenger event and the women competing in the $25,000 ITF Challenger event. The tournament will be held from July 17 to 23 at Parc de l’Île in Gatineau.
In one of the featured matches of the day, rising star Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill took on fellow Canadian Philip Bester from Vancouver on Centre Court. Shapovalov, who was crowned champion at the Gatineau Futures and Drummondville Challenger events earlier this year, defeated his compatriot in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. In his victory, the seventh seed fired a total of 12 aces and secured victory in one hour and 52 minutes.
Defending champion Peter Polansky from Thornhill eased past his first round match against Hiroki Moriya of Japan by a score of 6-2, 6-2 in a little over an hour. The tournament’s number five saved both break points he faced and converted four of his own to face US-American qualifier JC Aragone next.
Filip Peliwo from Vancouver and Benjamin Sigouin were not as successful as their compatriots, as they were unable to move past the first round. Brayden Schnur from Pickering also won his match on Tuesday, ousting US-American Bradley Klahn 6-3, 7-6. Although Schnur tallied less aces than his opponent, he was more consistent in his service games. Up next for Schnur is the tournament’s top seed Malek Jaziri of Tunisia.
On the women’s side, Carson Branstine made quick work of her opening match by overcoming fellow Canadian Anca Craciun 6-2, 6-2. Branstine was able to capitalize on her numerous break point opportunities in Tuesday’s win. Joining her in the second round is the tournament’s sixth seed Aleksandra Wozniak from Blainvill, who defeated Brit Katie Swan 7-6, 6-1. The Quebec native and former world no. 21 is continuing her return to form after a prolonged absence due to a string of injuries.
Despite putting up valiant efforts, both Carol Zhao of Richmond Hilland 15-year-old Layne Sleeth from Markham were unable to join their fellow Canadians in the second round, falling to Australian Priscilla Hon and qualifier Samantha Murray of Great Britain respectively.