Gabriel Diallo prepares to hit a backhand volley.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

It was a sweet homecoming for Gabriel Diallo at the $25,000 ITF Men’s World Tennis Tour event in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec last week.

The 21-year-old took a wild card into the tournament and as the top seed, he lifted the singles trophy on Sunday thanks to a 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over second-seeded Henri Squire of Germany in the championship final. He also knocked out third-seeded American Strong Kirchheimer 6-2, 7-6(6) in the semifinals. The win marks the second ITF title of Diallo’s professional career and first of the season. Plus, he took home top honours on home soil last summer at the Granby National Bank Championships, the most prestigious tournament he’s won to date.

It was pretty smooth sailing for the Canadian through his five matches during the tournament after coming through a decisive third set tiebreak in the opening round against American Toby Kodat. He didn’t drop another set the entire week.

His Montreal triumph is a good boost of confidence for Diallo as he continues his first full season on the pro circuit. He’ll move on to Biel, Switzerland this week to compete in the FlowBank Challenger Bienne, a Challenger 100 tournament on the ATP Challenger Tour. He’s seeded eighth in the singles draw and will face Swiss wild card Dylan Dietrich in the opening round.

The Montreal doubles title was won by the top-seeded American duo of Ezekiel Clark and Alfredo Perez who defeated their compatriots Tristan McCormick and Jakub Wojcik 7-5, 7-6(4).