Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne
The Canadian segment of the 2022 season on the professional circuit wrapped up Sunday by crowning a Canadian champion at the Drummondville National Bank Challenger, an $80,000 ATP Challenger Tour event contested at the René-Verrier Indoor Tennis Club.
The singles final for the seventh edition of the tournament was a high-quality, tightly contested match between two of the top three seeds and two players ranked inside the top 115 on the ATP rankings. After nearly three hours of play, third-seeded Vasek Pospisil (Vernon, BC) managed to get the better of second-seeded American Michael Mmoh 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4 to capture his second Challenger title of the year in his fourth final appearance of 2022.
The championship tilt went back and forth from start to finish with only a few points separating both finalists. Pospisil earned the decisive break in the fifth game of the third set to secure a hard-fought victory. The 32-year-old veteran saved eight of the ten break points he faced in the match thanks to 18 aces, and he was able to break Mmoh’s serve on two occasions with some strong return games. Sunday’s contest was the fourth career meeting between the two players and the first since 2019. Pospisil has now three of the four matches. It was also Mmoh’s fourth Challenger final of the season.
Pospisil took home top honours at the Quimper Challenger in France back in January to go along with his Drummondville title. He takes over from American Maxime Cressy, currently ranked no. 32 in the world, as the tournament’s reigning champion. This latest win on home soil will propel him back inside the top 100 on the ATP rankings at no. 100 which should allow him to earn direct entry into the main draw of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season in January.
Pospisil will now head to Malaga, Spain to represent Canada in the Davis Cup Finals beginning later this week alongside Félix Auger-Aliassime, Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, and Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian squad will face Germany in the quarter-finals on Thursday, November 24.