VANCOUVER, August 21, 2017 (Press Release)
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe was on the sidelines for close to three years due to injuries, but after claiming his second ATP Challenger Tour title of the year at the $100,000 Odlum Brown VanOpen on Sunday, he appears poised to become a top 100 ranked player once again. Stebe was ranked as high as World No. 71 in 2012 before the injury bug struck, including hip surgery in 2013.
The 26-year-old from Germany put in a dominating performance to knock off Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-0, 6-1 in 54 minutes. It’s the second fastest ATP Challenger Final of the year.
“It feels unreal. I haven’t had a short final like this before and I was just trying to play my best tennis. He’s a really good player and I was trying to be tough in each situation. Thankfully he had some problems, he was struggling a little bit, and I was able to take advantage of it,” he described.
Stebe won his first Challenger title in four years in June in Slovakia after reaching his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal in five years in Switzerland a few weeks prior. His win at the Odlum Brown VanOpen should move his ATP rankings to around World No. 105.
“This is one of the top matches I’ve had – maybe not the best one – but still a very good one, I’m really happy with my performance. I just want to keep it up and hopefully win some more matches next week in New York at the US Open.”
Maryna Zanevska Takes ITF Women’s Title
Maryna Zanevska’s official WTA bio lists her favourite cites as New York, Barcelona, her birthplace of Odessa, Ukraine – and Vancouver. But after Sunday’s final at the Odlum Brown VanOpen, Vancouver might just be her most favourite place. The 23-year-old beat eighth seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to add her name to the list of champions that includes Maria Sharapova, Johanna Konta, Aleksandra Wozniak and more.
“I’m super happy right now, if someone had told me before the tournament that I was going to win it, I would have said, ‘That’s a good joke!’” laughed Zanevska, who’s ranked World No. 128. The Odlum Brown VanOpen is her first singles title win since the $50,000 ITF Joue-Les-Tours event last October.
“Thank you to the people who make this tournament possible, all the sponsors, it’s a really great atmosphere here to play. It’s always more fun to play when such a big crowd is cheering for you. I really hope I can come back again next year because it’s really an amazing place,” said Zanevska.
For the 22-year-old Kovinic, it’s her third final appearance of the summer after finishing runner-up at a $50,000 event in Barcelona in June and a $100,000 in Budapest in July.
Cerretani/Skupski Win Doubles Title
It was a different partner, a different week and a different city, but the same result for Great Britain’s Neal Skupski as he won the men’s doubles title at the Odlum Brown VanOpen for his second straight crown on the ATP Challenger Tour. Already a four-time winner on the Challenger Tour this year, the 27-year-old Skupski and partner James Cerretani of the United States topped Treat Huey of the Philippines and Swede Robert Lindstedt 7-6(6), 6-2.
“We’ve played well all week and we’ve prepared well for each match. It’s such a great tournament here, it’s my first time in Vancouver, I love it and I think I’ll probably come back next year,” said Skupski, who’s currently ranked World No. 76 in men’s doubles.
Cerretani is currently ranked World No. 90 in men’s doubles, a four-time ATP World Tour doubles champion and also reached the doubles quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2012. The 35-year-old captured the doubles title at the Ecuador Open earlier this year.
Huey was gunning for a fourth men’s doubles championship at the Odlum Brown VanOpen after winning in 2010, 2011 and 2015. “Thank you guys for bringing this tournament back, I haven’t been back to Vancouver in a couple of years. I love it here, you guys host an amazing event, it was a great week – I wish we’d won, but it was still a good week,” he said.