Tennis Canada announced Thursday the list of players who will participate in the first edition of the Calgary National Bank Challenger, which will take place from October 13-21, 2018.
Leading the Canadian contingent in Calgary will be Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) and Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON). Both players have long histories on the Canadian tournament circuit, notably playing at all of the Challenger events on home soil since the start of the year. Peliwo had a career year in 2017, taking home seven titles, including his first ever at a Challenger tournament. This year, he has reached three quarter-finals and one semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour as well as the second round of qualifying at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Toronto. For his part, Schnur’s 2018 season highlights so far include an appearance in the finals of a Challenger tournament in Australia at the beginning of the year. He also reached two semi-finals, one of which was on home soil at the Drummondville Challenger. The 23-year-old came close to qualifying for his first Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon, but ultimately fell in his third round qualifying match.
Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) and Steven Diez (Toronto, ON) will join Peliwo and Schnur in the main draw in Calgary as they have received two of the four tournament wild cards. Among those who could potentially be granted the final two spots in the main draw are Pavel Krainik (Toronto, ON), Alexis Galarneau (Gatineau, QC) and Benjamin Sigouin (Vancouver, BC). The names of the remaining wild card recipients will be announced at a later date.
“We have an excellent field of players to kick-off our first edition of the tournament this year. Athletes from over 12 countries from around the world will compete to be crowned the very first champion of the Calgary National Bank Challenger,” stated Danny Da Costa, Tournament Director. “The fans in Calgary will have the chance to encourage our Canadian stars as well as watch some high quality matches. It promises to be an exciting week of tennis.”
On the international front, there are two former Top 20 players who are set to take part in the inaugural edition of the tournament. Tommy Robredo, currently ranked no. 231 in the world, will be playing in his first tournament in Canada outside of the Rogers Cup. In his career, the former world no. 5 has won 18 singles titles on the professional circuit and reached the quarter-finals at all of the Grand Slams except Wimbledon, where he attained the fourth round in 2014. Another name that fans will recognize is that of Ivo Karlovic, who was once ranked no. 12 in the world. Measuring almost seven feet tall, the Croatian is widely considered to be the best server on the ATP World Tour, having dished out one of the fastest serves in history at 251 km/h. Despite his 39 years of age, he is still very active on the professional tour. The tournament’s top seed will be Jordan Thompson of Australia. Currently ranked no. 106, he reached a career-high ranking of no. 63 last year.
Daniel Nestor (Toronto, ON), one of the most accomplished players in Canadian tennis history, will act as the Honourary Tournament Director for the first edition of the Calgary National Bank Challenger. Despite retiring from professional tennis just a few weeks ago, Nestor remains a very influential figure, having been ranked no. 1 in the world in doubles, taking home 91 doubles titles and winning an Olympic gold medal. He is set to participate in a variety of activities during the tournament in Calgary, notably a doubles clinic, a kid’s clinic as well as the National Bank Pro-Am Tennis event and the Sportsnet 960 Kidsport Day.
Click here for more information regarding the tournament.
The Calgary National Bank Challenger is part of a series of tournaments on the ATP Challenger Tour sponsored by National Bank. The list also includes tournaments in Drummondville, Gatineau, Granby, Saguenay and Winnipeg.
(Feature photo: Sarah-Jäde Champagne)