Gabriel Diallo celebration

Photo: Kyle Clapham

The semifinals are set in both the men’s and women’s draws at the Calgary National Bank Challenger which is a combined event for the first time this year. The tournament is being hosted at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre until November 13.

Championship weekend will have a distinctly Canadian flavour as Montreal’s Gabriel Diallo has advanced to his third semifinal of 2022 on the ATP Challenger Tour thanks to a hard-fought victory over sixth-seeded Frenchman Antoine Escoffier 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in Friday’s quarter-finals as his breakthrough season on the professional circuit continues. The 21-year-old, who has enjoyed a successful collegiate career in the NCAA’s Division I with the Kentucky Wildcats, will next face former world no. 50 Dominik Koepfer. The German reached the semifinals after defeating France’s Harold Mayot 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3.

Two of Diallo’s compatriots joined him in the quarter-finals but were unable to advance on Friday. Second-seeded Vasek Pospisil was defeated 7-6(7), 6-3 by Polish qualifier Maks Kasnikowski and Alexis Galarneau, the eighth seed in the men’s draw fell 6-3, 7-6(4) to Aleksandar Vukic of Australia.

The Women’s Final Four

The semifinals of Calgary’s $60,000 ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour event will feature former world no. 29 Urszula Radwanska of Poland. The 31-year-old, who is the younger sister of former WTA star Agnieszka Radwanska, advanced to her second straight semifinal in Canada after ousting Mexico’s Ana Sofia Sanchez 6-1, 7-6(5). On Saturday, she’ll meet second-seeded Eudice Chong of Hong Kong who was a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 winner over American Raveena Kingsley. Both Chong and Radwanska were also semifinalists at the Tevlin Challenger in Toronto two weeks ago.

Urszula Radwanska volley
Photo: Kyle Clapham

Saturday’s other singles semifinal will be an all-American affair with fifth-seeded Robin Montgomery taking on no. 7 seed Jamie Loeb. Montgomery eliminated crowd favourite and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki of Germany 7-6(7), 7-6(4). For her part, Loeb triumphed over Danish qualifier Johanne Christine Svendsen 6-3, 6-3.

Meanwhile, the young Canadian pair of Kayla Cross and Marina Stakusic will play for the doubles title when they take on the top-ranked American team of Catherine Harrison and Sabrina Santamaria.

Saturday’s action gets underway at 12 noon local time in Calgary with the presentation of the four singles semifinals as well as both championship matches in doubles.