Two Canadians were in quarter-final action on Friday at the Calgary National Bank Challenger. Playing in the first match of the day was Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC), a regular on the Canadian circuit of tournaments. Of the 11 singles titles that he has won over the course of his career, three have come on home soil. On Friday, the Vancouver native was disputing his fifth Challenger quarter-final of the year against qualifier Borna Gojo of Croatia. Despite having to pass through the qualifying round, Gojo was in top form, notably eliminating the tournament’s third seed Jason Jung in the second round. He continued his hot streak against the Canadian, taking the first set without dropping a game. Peliwo battled hard in the second but was ultimately unable to overcome his streaking opponent, falling by a score of 6-0, 6-3. While both players struggled on serve, it was the Canadian who committed more errors, including four doubles faults.
Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) was also looking to secure a semi-final spot, but first had to go through Casper Ruud of Norway, the fifth seed in Calgary. The 23-year-old Canadian got off to a great start, breaking his opponent and taking the opening set. In the second, it was Ruud who got the slight edge, notably firing five aces to force a third set. The decider was closely disputed until the Norwegian managed to get a break midway through to set and never looked back. Schnur was unable to reach his fourth Challenger semi-final of 2018, falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The other two semi-final spots were secured by the top two seeds, Jordan Thompson of Australia (No. 1) and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia (no. 2). Thompson got the better of Frenchman Enzo Couacaud, taking the match in straight sets by a score of 6-3, 6-4. While the top seeded Australian has yet to drop a set so far, it has been a different story for the no. 2 Karlovic. Measuring just under seven feet tall, the former world no. 12 has struggled against his opponents thus far, needing three sets to win all of his matches. On Friday, the big serving Croatian had trouble getting through his quarter-final match, edging out Roberto Quiroz 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(4).
*Feature photo: Kyle Clapham