DRUMMONDVILLE, March 18, 2018 (Press Release)
Only four players remained in singles action on Saturday 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.
The first singles semi-final featured Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) and Denis Kudla of the United States. Currently world no. 168, the American player reached a career-high ranking of no. 53 in 2016, notably reaching two Challenger semi-finals and one final. For his part, Schnur climbed over 200 spots in the rankings last year, winning two singles titles along the way. In Saturday’s match, it was Kudla who came out strong, breaking his opponent late to take the set. In the second, the Canadian was unable to keep pace with Kudla, committing a number of costly errors, including four double faults. After over an hour of play, the American booked his spot into the semi-finals, eliminating Schnur by a score of 6-4,6-2.
It will be 🇺🇸 Denis Kudla vs. 🇫🇷 Benjamin Bonzi for the crown in Drummondville @ChallengerBN!
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) 18. März 2018
Hoping to reverse the fortune of his compatriot was Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) as he opposed Benjamin Bonzi of France, who notably eliminated the tournament’s sixth seed Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) in the second round. It was a match of full of breaks, with each player getting over ten break point opportunities. The Canadian dropped the first set, but redeemed himself in the second, going up late and evening out the score of the match. In the decider, Pospisil committed a costly double fault to give his opponent the break. The Frenchman moved into his first final at a Challenger event with his 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 win over Pospisil.
Sunday’s final will feature Kudla against Bonzi and will take place starting at 1 p.m. at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville. For those who are unable to watch it live, the match will be livestreamed on the ATP Challenger website. Click here to view the livestream.
De Loore/Nielsen capture doubles title
Earlier in the day, Filip Peliwo was looking to capture his first Challenger doubles titles, having won his first career singles title on the ATP Challenger Tour last year. The Canadian, playing alongside Luis David Martinez of Venezuela, faced the tough task of taking on Joris De Loore of Belgium and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark, the latter who holds 57 career doubles titles and was crowned Wimbledon doubles champion in 2012. Despite some solid play from the Canadian/Venezuelan team, they were outmatched by their more experienced opponents, falling 6-4, 6-3 in Saturday’s final. This is the first doubles Challenger title for De Loore and the 26th for his teammate.
After the match, the four players had nothing but great things to say about the tournament, particularly Nielsen who took the time to thank everyone involved in organizing the event. “These past few weeks in Canada have been a wonderful experience for us and it has definitely ended on a high note. Thank you to all of those involved in the tournament, including Tennis Canada, the organizing committee and the volunteers, I feel like there were more volunteers here this week than players,” joked the 2018 doubles champion. “Know that the players are very grateful for all of your hard work. It is a pleasure to play in tournaments like these.”