DRUMMONDVILLE, March 16, 2016
After reaching the final of the inaugural edition of the Drummondville National Bank Challenger in 2015, Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) kicked off the second edition of the tournament by knocking out top-seeded Yuichi Sugita of Japan.
The 31-year-old, who represented Canada in Davis Cup against France a couple weeks ago, defeated Sugita, ranked no. 99 in the world, 6-4, 6-4. Dancevic controlled play throughout and excelled with his return of serve. He converted his fourth match point opportunity.
“I didn’t have as much prep time as I would have liked because of a few minor injuries I have been dealing with, so under the circumstances, I am very happy with my level of play tonight,” said Dancevic. “Despite the final score, we had a lot of long rallies and it was a physical match. I hope I can build on this win for my next matches this week.” Dancevic will face Nicolas Jarry of Chile in the second round.
In an all-Canadian first round match, up and coming Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) defeated his compatriot Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Shapovalov becomes the first player born in 1999 to win a main draw match at an ATP Challenger. Last year at the Granby National Bank Challenger, Félix Auger-Aliassime became the first player born in the 2000s to earn a main draw victory at a Challenger. Sixteen-year-old Shapovalov will next face second-seeded American Austin Krajicek.
Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) advanced to the quarter-finals thanks to a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 triumph over third-seeded Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands. Last week, Polansky qualified for the main draw at Indian Wells before falling to Fernando Verdasco in the first round. He will now take on Dutch qualifier Tim van Rijthoven, who knocked out sixth seed Yannick Mertens 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. The only 18-year-old fired 10 aces and converted five of his nine break points to reach his first quarterfinal on Challenger level after one hour and 55 minutes.