Philip Bester announces his plans to retire
Six Canadian players were in singles actions on Wednesday in Granby. Steven Diez (Toronto, ON), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) and Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) were victorious in their matches, moving on to the second round of the $160,000 Granby National Bank Challenger which is being played from July 24-30.
Playing in the first match of the day on Centre Court, Steven Diez was in action against Japanese qualifier Kaichi Uchida. Despite losing the first set, the Canadian stormed back in the second and third sets to take the match in a little over two hours. In the decider, he did not face a single break point. Fellow Canadian Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) was unable to replicate the success of her compatriot, falling in her first round match against Cristiana Ferrando of Italy 7-6(3), 6-3. Although she tallied an impressive 14 aces, she committed 9 double faults in the match.
Canadian wild card Benjamin Sigouin (Vancouver, BC) was also in singles action on Wednesday afternoon, facing a tough opponent in the tournament’s seventh seed Tatsuma Ito of Japan. Serving effectively throughout the match, Sigouin was unable to capitalize on his break point opportunities, converting only twice in seven attempts. After just under two hours of play, the Canadian fell 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
In doubles, the Canadian teams of Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) with partner Carson Branstine and Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC) with partner Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) were victorious in their first round matches. Later in the day, Bester announced his plans to retire, with the Vancouver Challenger being his final tournament.
18-yeard old Denis Shapovalov was playing in the first the two featured evening matches against Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic. The young Canadian had to serve his way out of trouble early in the first. He took the first set after his opponent double faulted fort he third time in the set. Shapovalov got an early break in the second and never looked back. He aced his way into the second round, firing four consecutives aces to take the match 7-5, 6-3.
The final match of the day opposed Aleksandra Wozniak and compatriot Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC). The first set was characterized by numerous breaks of serve, with the match starting with four consecutive breaks. After a game that lasted around 20 minutes, it was Wozniak who was able to hold serve to take the first. In the second, Wozniak went up two early breaks and was able to hold on for a 6-4, 6-2 victory over her fellow Canadian Robillard-Millette.
The Granby National Bank Challenger is the second of two mixed draw tournaments held in Quebec during the month of July. The tournament was preceded by the Granby National Bank Challenger.