– Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur both advanced on Thursday at ATP Challenger event
– The pair will face off in an all-Canadian quarter-final on Friday at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club
– No. 1 seed Nicole Gibbs of USA still in contention in women’s draw
Two Canadians secured spots in the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger quarter-finals following Thursday’s action. However, the Canadian content will soon be reduced to one player, as Peter Polansky and Brayden Schnur are set to square off on Friday at the combined men’s and women’s $75,000 ATP Challenger and $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit Challenger event running from July 10-16 in Winnipeg.
No. 2 seed Polansky advanced with a straight-sets win over Alex Rybakov. Polansky defeated the American qualifier 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 17 minutes at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. The 29-year-old Canadian recorded seven aces in the contest to move on from the second round.
Next up for Polansky is former University of North Carolina tennis star Schnur. The No. 7 seed was also in action on Thursday, and advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 victory of his own, ousting British qualifier Luke Bambridge. The match was completed in a clean 90 minutes, and Schnur was strong on serve and did not allow his 22-year-old opponent an opportunity to break.
World No. 127 Polansky and No. 233 Schnur will now face off for a place in the semifinals. In their professional careers, they have only played each other once before, with Schnur earning a three-set win back in 2013.
In other action, Canadian wild card Samuel Monette fell in a closely-fought contest versus Japan’s Yusuke Takahashi 7-5, 2-6, 6-2. Despite the loss, it was a strong performance for the 22-year-old, who recorded a huge upset 6-0, 6-1 against No. 5 seed Hiroki Moriya of Japan in the opening round.
Top seed Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia is also through to the quarter-finals as is No. 4 Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan, in a draw that has seen four of the Top 8 seeds fall before the round of eight.
In the women’s competition at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, all Canadians have been eliminated at the $25,000 ITF Pro Circuit event, with both Aleksandra Wozniak and Carol Zhao falling in the second round.
No. 1 seed Nicole Gibbs remains at the top of the draw, triumphing 7-5, 7-5 over fellow American Ronit Yurovsky on Thursday to advance to the semifinals. Ranked as high as world No. 68 a year ago, Gibbs is currently No. 117. She will next face France’s Jessika Ponchet.
Qualifier Alexandra Mueller of the United States upset fellow American Danielle Lao 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 7-6(3) in a marathon match. Mueller fought back after losing the opening set in the tiebreak to the No. 3 seed, forcing a decider and eventually finalizing the win after four hours and one minute of competition. She moves on to face No. 5 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan.
The Winnipeg National Bank Challenger is a combined $100,000 professional men’s and women’s tournament, and runs from July 10-16 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. Complete scores, full draws, and more information can be found on the official tournament website.