Tennis Canada announced Thursday the list of players who will participate in the Gatineau National Bank Challenger. The tournament features a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $54,160 ATP Challenger event and the women competing in the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event. The tournament will be held from July 15 to 21 at Parc de l’Île in Gatineau.
Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) is set to make his debut at the Gatineau Challenger, as he received one of the tournament Wild Cards. The 29-year-old is in the midst of a comeback, after spending eight months recovering from a back injury. Pospisil is no stranger to having success playing in Canadian Challenger events. Just last summer, he reached the semi-finals of the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open. For his part, Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) will be making his fourth appearance at the tournament, having been crowned champion in 2016 and runner-up in 2017. Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) will be competing in Gatineau for a third time, having recently reached the final of a Challenger event in Israel. Joining them in the main draw will be Benjamin Sigouin (Vancouver, BC), who has been awarded one of the tournament Wild Cards.
On the women’s side, Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON) and Leylah Annie Fernandez (Laval, QC) are into the main draw thanks to their ranking, no. 212 and no. 371, respectively. Sebov has had a lot of success playing on home soil, as she won her first professional title at the Saguenay Challenger last fall. The 20-year-old is also fresh off a final’s appearance in an ITF tournament in Portugal. Fernandez is having a career season, having won her first junior Grand Slam title at Roland-Garros just a few weeks ago as well as making her Fed Cup debut earlier in the year. Her ranking has continued to climb as a result, peaking at no. 3 in the juniors and no. 370 in the WTA. They will be joined by compatriot Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) and Carol Zhao (Richmond Hill, ON), who received Wild Cards into the main draw.
“This year’s tournament promises to be another exciting edition as there are a number of talented players in our draws. There is a strong Canadian contingent present who will be looking to take home the title on home soil. We are eager for a week of great tennis and exciting match-ups,” stated the Tournament Director Francis Milloy. “Fans will be treated to an exciting show both on an off the court, with a number of special activities planned during the event. A must attend event this summer.”
At the international level, there are four Frenchmen in the main draw, including Antoine Hoang, who is slated to be the top seed. Ranked a career-high world no. 103, he recently reached the third round at Roland-Garros. Fans might also recognize the name of Thanasi Kokkinakis, who reached a career-high ranking of no. 25 back in 2015. On the women’s side, Australians Maddison Inglis and Olivia Rogowska will be the top two seeds.
The Gatineau National Bank Challenger is the first of two mixed draw tournaments held in Quebec during the month of July. The tournament will be followed by the Granby National Bank Challenger.