WINNIPEG, July 14, 2018 (Press Release)
Two Canadian players were vying for a spot in the semi-finals on Friday at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. The tournament features a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $75,000 Challenger event and the women in the $25,000 ITF Challenger event. The tournament will be played at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club from July 7-15, 2018.
After getting the biggest win of his career against the world no. 119 on Thursday, Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC) was looking to book a ticket to the semi-finals at a Challenger tournament for the very first time. He had the tough task of facing Go Soeda of Japan, the tournament’s sixth seed. The match did not begin well for the Quebec native, as he was broken in his opening service game. Galarneau went on to drop the first set, unable to take a point from his opponent. In the second, he managed to get a few crucial holds while on serve, but Soeda was too dominant, taking the match 6-0, 6-2 in a little over an hour. While both players struggled with their service game, Galarneau totalled five double faults while his opponent only committed one. Overall, it was a successful week for the Canadian in Winnipeg.
Looking to reach her second $25,000 ITF Challenger semi-final of the year, Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) was in action against the tournament’s eight seed Astra Sharma of Australia. The Canadian got off to a slow start, falling behind a break and dropping the opening set. She picked up her game in the second, taking advantage of her opponent’s serving difficulties and evened out the score. In a tight deciding set, it was Marino who got the break to give herself the opportunity to serve for the match. After over two and a half hours of play, the Canadian clinched a spot in the semi-finals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. Despite being dominant on serve all week, Marino tallied only three aces in the match. On Saturday, she will face the seventh seed Victoria Rodriguez, who beat Erika Sema of Japan 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1.
The other semi-finalists in the women’s draw include the second seed Julia Glushko of Israel, who defeated Italian Georgia Brescia 6-2, 6-1 and Maddison Ingis of Australia who eliminated American Sophie Chang, the tournament’s sixth seed, by a score of 6-1, 6-0. On the men’s side, the remaining top seeds were all victorious in their quarter-final matches. The second seed Marcel Granollers of Spain made quick work of American qualifier Mikael Torpegaard 6-4, 6-1 while the fourth seed Jason Kubler of Australia overpowered qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland by a score of 6-2, 6-3. Austrian Lucas Miedler also booked his spot in the semi-finals with a 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Kaichi Uchida of Japan.
The Winnipeg National Bank Challenger is the first of three mixed draw Challenger tournaments in Canada held during the month of July. The tournament will be followed by events in Gatineau and Granby.