Six Canadians advanced to the quarter-finals at the Granby National Bank Challenger.
Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) kicked things off on Thursday with a solid performance over her compatriot Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON). Sebov, the tournament’s sixth seed started the match off well, not conceding a single point to her opponent. Despite struggling a bit on serve, she continued her momentum into the second, eventually taking the match 6-0, 6-2. In the quarter-finals, she will take on another Canadian in Layne Sleeth who got the better of Canadian Ariana Arsenault by a score of 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-0. The 17-year-old will be playing in only her third quarter-final on the professional tour.
Last week’s champion in Gatineau Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) continued her winning streak in Granby, eliminating the tournament’s top seed Nao Hibino of Japan in the second round by a score of 6-3, 7-6(4). The young 16-year-old showed some nerves towards the end of the match, firing a few doubles faults, but battled through to book her spot in the quarter-finals for a second consecutive tournament.
In another all-Canadian match-up between Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), the no. 2 seed, and Alexis Galarneau (Laval, QC), it was the more experienced Polansky who came through with a 7-5, 6-2 victory. It was a high quality match, with the players engaging in long rallies to the great delight of the near sold out crowd.
Steven Diez (Toronto, ON), the ninth seed, upset Andrew Harries of Australia (no. 7) in his third round match, 6-4, 6-2, booking his spot in the quarter-finals for the first time in Granby. He will face compatriot Polansky in their first career meeting.
Françoise Abanda (Montreal, QC) was the final Canadian to qualify for the quarter-finals on Thursday as she ousted the tournament’s fourth seed Sachia Vickery of the United States. After taking the opening set, Abanda experienced some difficulties in consistency and her opponent was able to bring the match to a decider. In the final set, despite going down an early break, Abanda fought back to take the match by a score of 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. She will face Mayo Hibi of Japan on Friday.
Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC), the tournament’s fourth seed, was unable to replicate the success of his fellow Canadians, falling in his third round match against Ernesto Escobedo of the United States 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Still bothered by an injured left wrist, the Canadian fought through the pain, but was unable to come away with the victory.
There were also a number of Canadian players in doubles action, as the young duo of Liam Draxl (Newmarket, ON) and Nicaise Muamba (Gatineau, QC) upset the second seeds Adil Shamasdin (Toronto, ON) and his partner Hunter Reese of the United States 6-2, 5-7, 10-7. Leylah Fernandez and compatriot Ariana Arsenault surprised the fourth seeds Elizabeth Halbauer of the United States and Erin Routliffe of New Zealand 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.