Eliot Spizzirri pumps his fist. He won the ITF event in Laval last week.

Photo : University of Texas Athletics

The first professional men’s title in Canada in 2024 was won last week by American Eliot Spizzirri, who emerged victorious at the ITF M25 event in Laval, Quebec. 

Spizzirri, an NCAA star for the University of Texas who finished the 2023-24 season as the No. 1 ranked player in the American collegiate system, defeated qualifier Karl Poling 6-4, 6-2 in the final to claim his second ITF singles title of the year. 

In the early rounds, the American was given all he could handle by Canadian opposition, getting pushed to three sets by fellow NCAA players Alvin Tudorica and Taha Baadi in the first two rounds. From the quarter-finals onwards, Spizzirri did not drop a set. 

Canada’s Liam Draxl was the top seed and the last Canadian standing in singles, reaching the quarter-finals before retiring despite having taken the first set against the eventual runner-up Poling. 

Read also: Canadian Masters Shine on Canada Day

There were 13 Canadian men in the singles draw. The draw featured three all-Canadian first-round clashes: Draxl defeated youngster Keegan Rice, Juan Carlos Aguilar upset sixth seed Justin Boulais, and Duncan Chan won a battle of Canadian qualifiers over Sasha Rozin. 

Overall, the Canadians went 6-7 in the first round. 

Draxl still managed to reach the doubles final in Laval alongside countryman Cleeve Harper, who was Spizzirri’s doubles partner at Texas during the NCAA season. The Canadian pair upset top seeds Ben Jones and Aidan McHugh of Great Britain in the semifinals but lost in the title match to Americans Alexander Bernard and James Tracy 3-6, 6-4, 10-5. 

Read also: Top 5 WTA Moments at the National Bank Open in the 21st Century

It was the first ITF doubles title of Bernard’s career and the second for Tracy. 

Four all-Canadian pairs reached the quarter-finals on home soil, but only Draxl and Harper were able to get to the semifinals. Canadians featured on 10 of the 16 pairs in the doubles draw.