Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) won his final singles match and was crowned champion on Sunday 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, was played at the Sporthèque in Hull.
After a long semi-final match the day before, Shapovalov started the final match of the tournament on a strong note, totaling five aces in the first set. It was a tight match-up between the Canadian and his French opponent, the tournament’s first seed Gleb Sakharov. The turning point came when the Frenchman double faulted, giving Shapovalov a break point. The Canadian was able to consolidate his break with a solid service game, eventually winning the set.
In the second set, Shapovalov went down an early break, but he managed to hold serve on his next service game and break back his opponent. Gaining confidence from his effective serve, the Canadian was increasingly aggressive on his returns and closed out the match in a little over an hour, winning 6-2, 6-4.
“He’s [Gleb] a tough opponent and I knew that I had to take it to him from the start. I didn’t want to give him any opportunities to get back into the match,” said the champion Shapovalov. After the match, the Canadian was appreciative about the support that he received from the crowd. “I would like to thank the fans for coming out all week and supporting me. I played some tough matches and you guys really carried me through to the end.”
— Int. Tennis Gatineau (@ITGatineau) March 5, 2017
The runner-up Sakharov was also thankful for the support that he received from the local crowd. Despite losing in the final, he was positive about his experience at the tournament and hopes to be back in the summer at the National Bank Challenger in Gatineau, which will be played from July 15-23.
Both Shapovalov and Sakharov are scheduled to play at next week’s Futures tournament in Sherbrooke.
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