GRANBY/STARNBERG, August 29, 2022
On Sunday, Canada’s Gabriel Diallo, a wildcard at the Championnats Banque Nationale de Granby, won his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour, defeating No. 6 seed Juncheng Shang in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(5).
With the win, Diallo jumps up 183 spots in the ATP rankings to a new career-high of No. 335 in the world. Diallo, the 6-foot-7 Montreal native, began his championship run on Wednesday, defeating compatriot Dan Martin in the opening round 7-5, 6-1. He then won thrillers against Germany’s Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2)) and Aziz Dougaz of Tunisia (3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)), before cruising past Hiroki Moriya in the semi-final 6-3, 6-4 and earning a title clinching victory against Shang on Sunday.
Tell me you’re a champion without telling me you’re a champion 😉
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) August 28, 2022
His opponent, Shang, also had a tremendous week in Granby. The 17-year-old Chinese player was yet to drop a set heading into the finals, beating Canadian Marko Stakusic (6-4, 6-4), Americans Coline Markes (6-2, 6-2) and Aidan Mayo (6-3, 6-4), as well as world No. 103 Jordan Thompson of Australia (7-5, 6-4). His impressive streak came to an end at the hands of the red-hot Diallo.
In the championship bout, Diallo played extremely well behind his serve – even though he failed to serve out the match up 6-5 in the second set. The Canadian kept 70 per cent of his first serves in play, winning 76 per cent of those points and delivering 10 aces. He also attacked Shang’s second serve, winning 63 per cent of those points. Diallo would only lose one point on serve in the second-set tiebreaker and managed to clinch the title with a mini-break on Shang’s final serve after two hours and five minutes.
The win is the biggest of Diallo’s young career, as he captures his first Challenger-level title. He earned $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.