Liam Draxl celebrating

Photo: Gyles Dias

Professional tennis returns to Saint-Augustin, Quebec, this week as its second edition of the ITF M25 tournament begins with top seed Aziz Dougaz looking to once again come out on top. 

Dougaz, hailing from Tunisia, breezed his way through the inaugural tournament in 2022, besting Canadian Justin Boulais in straight sets. Since then, Dougaz won one other tournament: the M15 Monastir in his home country that concluded this weekend. He is the top seed going into the M25 in Saint-Augustin. 

Liam Draxl, one of two Canadians in the main draw, will look to bounce back from a finals loss in Ithaca, New York, earlier in October. Romanian Rady Mihai defeated Draxl in three sets to stop the Canadian from winning back-to-back tournaments. Prior to the M15 in Ithica, Draxl took home the trophy in the M15 in Albuquerque and the M15 in Champaign, Illinois.

Slightly further down the Saint-Augustin rankings is Juan Carlos Aguilar, the only other Canadian ranked highly in the tournament. Aguilar is ranked No. 804. 

Though he has yet to win a tournament in 2023, he came close in July when he made it to the finals of the M15 in Pittsburgh. He wound up coming up just short of taking it all, as Darian King from Barbados dispatched him in three sets. 

In the doubles, however, Aguilar and fellow Canadian teammate Benjamin Sigouin join other all-Canadian teams including Dan Martin and Nicaise Muamba as well as Sid Donarski and Junghee You. 

A year ago, it was an all-Canadian fight in the finals as Duncan Chan and Keegan Rice defeated Marko Stakusic and Jaden Weekes.