Liam Draxl celebrates winning ATP Challenger in Calgary

Photo : Kyle Chapman

It’s been quite the weekend for Canadian tennis. 

After Team Canada presented by Sobeys won the Billie Jean King Cup on Sunday, one more Canadian made the country proud on home turf. 

In the finals of the Calgary National Bank Challenger, Liam Draxl defeated Dominik Koepfer in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to claim his third singles title of the year. 

Though this is Draxl’s third trophy of the year, it marks his first at an ATP event. 

Read more: Canada Wins First Billie Jean King Cup Title

It was a quick match, clocking in at just under 90 minutes, but it was hardly one-sided. 

The first set saw both players holding their serves until the last minute when Draxl converted a break point in the final game to take the first set. 

Despite the sole break in the first set, Koepfer’s serve was otherwise strong, winning 88 per cent of his first serve points. Draxl, on the other hand, won 63 per cent of his first serves, but was stronger in his seconds, allowing him to hold consistently. 

Draxl got off to a fast start in the second set, breaking Koepfer’s serve twice in the first four games to jump ahead 4-0. Though Koepfer then broke Draxl’s serve to win his first game of the set, it would not be enough to muster a comeback. Draxl went on to hold his remaining two service games to close out the match and take home the title. 

In the women’s draw, Stacey Fung came close to completing the Canadian title trifecta but ultimately fell in the finals to Sabine Lisicki of Germany. 

Read more: Canada Stands Alone Atop the Tennis World After Billie Jean King Cup Victory

The match lasted just over two and a half hours and went three sets with a score of 7-6(2), 6-7 (5), 6-3.  

The two longest sets were the first two as they were both decided by tiebreakers. In the first set, both players held all but one of their respective service games, but Fung ran into some trouble at the end when Lisicki converted four minibreaks to win the breaker. 

Neither player rolled over in the second set. Both Fung and Lisicki broke each other’s serve twice across the first 12 games, resulting in a second tiebreaker. This time, however, Fung managed to convert four minibreaks of her own to even the tides at one set apiece.  

Fung, in an effort to win her fourth singles title of the year, stumbled out of the gate with Lisicki breaking her serve to start the third set. She bounced back quickly, converting her next break point to keep it even at 1-1. She went on to hold her next serve to take the lead.  

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Fung then dropped her next three games and fell behind 4-2 but held her serve in the seventh game to bring her within one. Lisicki, ready to close out the match, held her final serve and defeated Fung by breaking her final serve. 

With her win over Fung in the finals, Lisicki took home her first title in nine years.