DRUMMONDVILLE, March 17, 2018 (Press Release)
Four spots in the semi-finals were up for grabs on Friday at the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger. The tournament is being played from March 10-18 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Late on Thursday night, the tournament announced that Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) had withdrawn from singles and doubles due to personal reasons, thus allowing his scheduled opponent Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) to win by a walkover and move on to the semi-finals. It also meant that the doubles team of Joris de Loore of Belgium and Frederik Nielsen from Denmark advanced to the doubles final.
Playing in the feature match of the day was Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC), who was facing the tournament’s seventh seed Evan King of the United States. The first set was all about serving, as both players were consistent on their serve and neither able to get a break to take the lead. The set required a tiebreak where it was the Canadian who took the lead and eventually the set. After three consecutive breaks to start the second, it was Pospisil who got the crucial hold and never looked back. He booked his spot in the semi-finals with a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory. On Sunday, the Canadian will face Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, who defeated JC Aragone of the United States 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-0.
Looking to reach his first doubles final of the year was Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC), having lost in the doubles semi-final last week at the Sherbrooke Futures. Playing alongside Luis David Martinez of Venezuela, they faced the American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Alex Lawson, who eliminated the fourth seeds the day before. After the Americans took the first set, the teams exchanged breaks before Peliwo and Martinez were able to get the additional break to bring the match to a deciding super tiebreak. Play was tight in the decider, but the Canadian/Venezuelan duo managed to get the upper hand on their opponents by a score of 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-8.
Saturday’s other semi-final will feature the Canadian Schnur, the tournament’s eighth seed, and Denis Kudla of the United States, the fifth seed. The American breezed through his quarter-final match on Friday, eliminating his compatriot Jared Hiltzik in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Kudla will be looking to reach his first Challenger final of the year, having lost in the semi-finals at the Dallas Challenger in February. For his part, Schnur reached the final at a Challenger event in Australia at the start of the 2018. The players have met only once before, with the American winning their match in the first round of qualifications at the ATP 500 event in Acapulco this year.