Photo : Calgary National Bank Challenger
Five Canadians still have a chance to be crowned champion on home soil this week at the ATP Challenger/ITF W60+ event in Calgary.
Gabriel Diallo leads the charge on the ATP side, where the possibility of an all-Canadian final still in play.
The Davis Cup team member got his first routine victory of the tournament on Friday in the quarter-finals, defeating No. 8 seed Aziz Dougaz in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. In the previous two rounds, Diallo had needed to rally from a set down to advance.
In the semifinals, he faces top seed Dominik Koepfer, who dropped just four games in his quarter-final win against sixth seed Zizou Bergs 6-1, 6-3.
Before Diallo and Koepfer clash in the semifinals, fans will know if the possibility of an all-Canadian final still exists, as Liam Draxl will play the first semi against Andres Martin.
Draxl was victorious in his quarter-final on Friday over Inaki Montes-De La Torre in three sets. The Canadian wildcard had cruised through his first two matches before needing to battle against the Spaniard for a 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 win.
Martin advanced to the semis with a 6-1, 6-1 win over French qualifier Enzo Wallart.
Canada has a shot at the title in the doubles too. Recent Edmonton champion Justin Boulais and his countryman Juan Carlos Aguilar will compete in the doubles final on Saturday after getting a free pass in the semis when Diallo and Zizou withdrew.
They will meet the all-British pair of Charles Broom, the Saint-Agustin Champion, and Ben Jones in the final.
On the women’s side, Stacey Fung is the lone title hope remaining for the host nation. She advanced to the singles semifinals with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 win over third seed Lulu Sun. At No. 5, Fung is the highest-seeded player left in the draw.
Standing between the Canadian and a spot in the final is former WTA No. 29 Urszula Radwanska, who took out second seed Arina Rodionova 6-1, 6-3.
Former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki is into the semifinals, having taken out back-to-back seeded opponents in the second round and quarter-finals. On Friday, she beat No. 8 Liv Hovde 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3. She will look for a third straight upset against No. 7 Jamie Loeb in the semis. Loeb defeated Dalayna Hewitt, who had taken out top seed Katherine Sebov, in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 in the quarter-finals.
Saturday’s women’s doubles final will feature another all-British pair, Sarah Beth Grey and Eden Silva, against Kira Pavlova and American Haley Giavara, who took out Canada’s Kayla Cross and her Lithuanian partner Justina Mikulskyte in the semifinals.