Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the list of players who will participate in the Granby National Bank Challenger. The tournament features a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $81,240 ATP Challenger event and the women competing in the $80,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event. The tournament will be held from July 22 to 28 at the Club de tennis des loisirs de Granby.
Set to compete in Granby for the seventh time in his career is Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC). The 29-year-old is making is returning for the first time since 2012, when he was crowned champion in both singles and doubles. After spending eight months nursing an injury, Pospisil has received one of the tournament Wild Cards. Four Canadian players are into the main draw thanks to their rankings, as Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), Steven Diez (Toronto, ON), Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) and Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC) are set to compete. Polansky is the defending champion in Granby, as he took home the title in 2018 after having finished runner-up the year before. For his part, Diez will be competing in Granby for a sixth time. Earlier this year, he won his first Challenger title in Burnie, Australia. Fellow Canadian Peliwo came close to capturing his first title of 2019 just a few weeks ago in Israel. 20-year-old Galarneau will be making only his second appearance in the main draw in Granby. Currently playing on the NCAA circuit for NC State, he finished the season ranked no. 26. A second tournament Wild Card has also been awarded to 17-year-old Liam Draxl (Newmarket, ON) who was crowned champion of a G1 junior event in California in April.
On the women’s side, Rebecca Marino (Vancouver, BC) and Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) are into the main thanks to their rankings. Marino will be playing in her first tournament since the French Open qualifying in May as she has been sidelined with an injury. The 28-year-old, who took home five titles in her comeback year in 2018, had a strong start to the season, getting some good results in a string of tournaments in Japan. For her part, Sebov will be looking to capture her second professional title, having been crowned champion at the Saguenay Challenger last fall. She also reached a career-high ranking of no. 199 at the start of this year. Three main draw Wild Cards have been awarded to Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON), Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) and Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC). Zhao will be playing in only her fifth tournament since November 2018, as she was dealing with an injury. As for Fernandez, the 16-year-old is having a career season, notably winning her first junior Grand Slam title at Roland-Garros as well as making her Fed Cup debut earlier in the year. Abanda, who has been sidelined with an injury since February, will be making a fifth appearance in Granby with her best result coming in 2014 when she reached the semi-finals.
“This is an exciting time to be following tennis in Canada. Our players are having lots of success on the international scene, many of whom began playing in tournaments like the Granby National Bank Challenger. Each year, we are pleased to welcome some of the best talent, including up and coming junior players as well as tour veterans,” stated the Tournament Director, Eugène Lapierre. “Fans will not want to miss the opportunity to cheer on our Canadian contingent, who have always put on great performances at the tournament. I am looking forward to seeing how this all plays out on the courts.”
On the international front, the men’s draw will see five French players in action, including Antoine Hoang, who is slated to be the top seed. The 23-year-old is currently ranked a career-high no. 103, having notably reached the third round at the French Open earlier this year. On the women’s side, Nao Hibino of Japan will be the top seed. Last year’s finalist Arina Rodionova of Australia will also be returning to Granby.
The Granby National Bank Challenger is the second of two mixed draw tournaments held in Quebec during the month of July. The tournament was proceeded by the Gatineau National Bank Challenger.