Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) came back from a set down in his semi-final match on Saturday afternoon at the tenth edition of the Gatineau Futures presented by the Turpin Group, National Bank Financial. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the tournament, which offers $25,000 U.S. in prize money, will be played until March 5 at the Sporthèque in Hull.
After losing a tight first set in a tie-break, Shapovalov rallied in the second to bring the match to a third and decisive set. In the final set, Shapovalov and his opponent, Hugo Nys from France, traded breaks in the opening two games before the Canadian was finally able to hold serve, to the great delight of the local fans. It took a tie-break in the final set for Shapovalov to move past his opponent after over two hours of play, 6-7(4), 6-2 and 7-6(3).
“My service game was not as strong today, but I was able to turn it around in the second set. It was tough because he’s [Nys] such a good returner and he definitely challenged me today,” said Shapovalov after his emotional win. After being eliminated in the second round of last year’s tournament, the Canadian will be playing for the title on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
In the other semi-final match of the day, the Frenchman Gleb Sakharov overpowered his American opponent Eric Quigley 6-3, 6-2. Despite the final score, the match was a tight battle featuring heavy baseline hitting on both sides. Sakharov, the tournament’s top seed, relied on his strong service game to get him to the finals.
On Saturday, the final doubles match was also disputed. It featured the French pair of Gregoire Barrere and Laurent Lokoli, who ousted Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC) in the semifinals, against Nys and Mikelis Libietis of Austria. The tournament’s third seeds defeated the French duo in a little over an hour, winning their third tournament together 7-6 (4), 6-3.
The Gatineau Futures presented by the Turpin Group, National Bank Financial is the first of three consecutive tournaments being played throughout Quebec in the months of February and March. The Gatineau event will be followed by the Sherbrooke Futures and the Drummondville National Bank Challenger.
Featured photo taken by Roger Lauzon