Lizette Cabrera of Australia and Ernesto Escobedo of the US were crowned champions of the 24th edition of the Granby National Bank Challenger. The tournament, which got underway on July 22, featured a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $81 240 ATP Challenger event and the women in the $80 000 ITF World Tennis Tour event.
The women’s final featured Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC), who was out to secure a tenth consecutive win and second title in as many weeks but seemed to be feeling the effects of yesterday’s three-hour battle against fellow Quebecer Françoise Abanda (Montréal, QC). Her opponent, the World No.266, played a nearly perfect match. Cabrera stayed ahead the entire time and broke Fernandez at the start of each set on her way to a 6-1, 6-4 win. With her final berth, Fernandez will rise from World No. 372 and enter the Top 250. She is now headed to Toronto to play in Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.
“I played a really good match today, but I’d like to congratulate Leylah on her tournament. Even if she’s only 16, I admire her as a player. She definitely has a bright future ahead of her,” said Cabrera after the match.
On the men’s side, Escobedo overpowered Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan in two sets (7-6(5), 6-4). There was only one break at 4-4 in the second set for Escobedo, who claimed his third ATP Challenger title and his first since October 2016. With the win, he should move up to around No. 215. He had climbed as high as World No.67 in 2017.
“This was the third time I faced Uchiyama and it’s always a tight match. I knew I had to play some great tennis, and I’m proud to have been able to do that today. It was a great week for me. I loved my time in Granby,” affirmed Escobedo.
The Granby National Bank Challenger, which awarded equal prize money to the men’s and women’s champions for the first time in its history, will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020.
Feature photo: Sarah-Jäde Champagne