Alexis Galarneau using towel

Photo: Martin Sidorjak

Second-seeded Emilio Gomez defeated Alexis Galarneau 6-3 7-6(4) in just over two hours in the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger final.

Gomez, ranked 146th, concluded an impressive tournament with wins over Billy Harris, Nicolas Mejia, eighth-seeded Genaro Alberto Olivieri, and Enzo Couacaud before meeting Galarneau in the final.

In a match that featured two evenly matched players, it was break-point success that gave Gomez the upper hand. The 30-year-old saved 11 of his 12 opportunities while converting three out of seven, compared to just one of 12 for Galarneau. 

In the opening set, Galarneau faced an early 2-0 deficit after being broken in the opening game, and dropping the second on Gomez’s serve. It was in the third game that the Canadian began to settle in, winning his first of the match. 

From there, each man was able to hold serve in what became a competitive set. It wasn’t until Galarneau was serving, down 5-3, that he broke for the second time in the set, losing the opener 6-3.

The second set started similarly to the first, with the Canadian finding himself down two games after being broken yet again. Gomez would extend his lead to 4-1 before the 23-year-old would find his rhythm. Galarneau would go on to win five of the next seven games to even things up at six, forcing a tiebreak. 

In the tiebreak, however, it was the Ecuadorian who took advantage early and despite a few moments from Galarneau would go on to secure the win. 

Despite falling short, it was an impressive run in Winnipeg for the Canadian. On his way to the final Galarneau defeated Ulises Blanch in the opening round, before taking out sixth-seeded Tung-Lin Wu in the round of 16. His most impressive win came in the quarterfinals, when he defeated top-seeded Liam Broady before booking his ticket to the final with a convincing win over Evan Zhu in the semifinals. 

Galarneau, ranked 290th, continues to improve but is still yet to win on the ATP Challenger Tour.