DRUMMONDVILLE, March 19, 2018 (Press Release)
Two players were vying for the chance to lift the René Verrier Cup on Sunday $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger. The tournament was held from March 10-18 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Taking place in front of a full house, Sunday’s final opposed the young Benjamin Bonzi of France and the American Denis Kudla, both players with very different results playing in ATP Challenger tournaments in their careers. For the Frenchman, it was his first final at a Challenger event, having reached the semi-finals at a tournament in Bordeaux, France last year. As for the American, he holds five career Challenger titles in singles and reached as high as world no. 53 in the ATP rankings in 2016. Bonzi, on the other hand, reached his career-high ranking of no. 176 only late last year.
Since the start of the tournament, all but one of Bonzi’s matches went to three sets, as he notably disputed tightly fought battles against the tournament’s sixth seed Filip Peliwo of Canada and the first seed Vasek Pospisil. While Kudla also struggled early on in the tournament, he was dominant in his last two matches, which lasted a little over an hour each.
In Sunday’s final, it was the American who continued on his hot streak, jumping out to an early lead at the very start of the match, overpowering his opponent in every aspect of the game. After breaking Bonzi three times in the opening set, Kudla seemed to be racing off to his sixth career Challenger title. The Frenchman, however, was not ready to call it a day.
In the second, it was Bonzi who went up the early break, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd of over 500 fans. Both players remained consistent throughout the set, engaging in long rallies. While attempting to serve for the set, Bonzi was broken by his opponent to bring the score back to even. Despite his best efforts, the French player was unable to complete the comeback. Kudla was crowned champion by a score of 6-0, 7-5 after just a little over an hour of play.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) 18. März 2018
After the match, both players had nothing but good things to say about the tournament. “I would like to thank everyone who was involved in organizing this tournament, including the ball kids, the officials, the organizing committee and the volunteers. I speak for all the players when I say that this was a wonderful week and I look forward to coming back next year,” stated Kudla the 2018 champion.
Up next for the American is the qualifying round at the Miami Open, with his first match taking place on Monday. For his part, Bonzi will be going to Guadeloupe to continue his quest for his first ATP Challenger title.
The Drummondville National Bank Challenger is part of the group of tournaments sponsored by National Bank, a group that includes combined events in Granby and Gatineau as well as a men’s Challenger in Calgary and two women’s Challengers in Saguenay and Winnipeg.
The Drummondville National Bank Challenger was the final stop in a series of three tournaments held in Quebec during the months of February and March. The tournament was preceded by the Gatineau Futures presented by Turpin Group, National Bank Financial and the Subaru Sherbrooke Futures presented by Énergie 106.1.