Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the list of players who will participate in the upcoming events in Winnipeg and Saskatoon from July 8-14, 2019. The men will be competing on the courts of the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger which offers $54,160 in total prize money. The women’s ITF tournament, which offers $25,000 in total prize money, will be played at the Riverside Badminton and Tennis Club in Saskatoon.
Brayden Schnur, Peter Polansky and Filip Peliwo will lead the contingent of Canadian players in Winnipeg. Schnur will be competing in Winnipeg for the fourth time of his career. The Canadian had a great start to the year, which saw him make a deep run to the final of the ATP 250 event in New York and reach his first Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon. For his part, Polansky will be making his fourth appearance at the tournament, having reached the final in 2017. Peliwo will be competing in Winnipeg 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, Alexis Galarneau and Jack Mingjie Lin, who have been awarded three of the four tournament Wild Cards.
“We are very pleased with the lineup of talented players for this year’s tournament,” stated Jared Connell, the Tournament Director in Winnipeg. “This is an exciting time for tennis in Canada as more and more people are following the sport. Our fans will have the opportunity to cheer on not only experienced tour veterans, but also the next generation of young stars, including a number of Canadian talent.”
On the women’s side, there will be a number of Canadians in action in Saskatoon, including Katherine Sebov, Carol Zhao and Leylah Annie Fernandez. Sebov is fresh off a final’s appearance in an ITF tournament in Portugal. The 20-year-old won her first professional title at the Saguenay Challenger last fall. Zhao will be playing in only her third tournament since November 2018, as she was dealing with an injury. After making her Fed Cup debut in April, Fernandez continued her successful start to the year as she was crowned champion at the Junior French Open. 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), who receives a Wild Card into the main draw.
“Our tournament promises to feature some high quality tennis and a number of exciting match-ups. We are delighted with this strong player list, which includes a lot of young Canadian talent,” said Bruce Garman, the Tournament Director in Saskatoon. “We hope that everyone comes out to cheer on the athletes who will be competing to be crowned the inaugural champion of our women’s event.”
On the international front, Bernard Tomic of Australia is slated to be the top seed in Winnipeg. Currently ranked no. 102, he reached a career-high of no. 17 in 2016. Other notable names in the main draw include Marcel Granollers of Spain and Antoine Hoang of France. On the women’s side, Australians Maddison Inglis and Olivia Rogowska will be the top two seeds.
The Winnipeg National Bank Challenger and the ITF World Tennis Tour event in Saskatoon are the first events in the Canadian swing of tournaments held in the month of July. The tournaments will be followed by events in Gatineau and Granby.
*Feature photo: Dave Mahussier