Vasek Pospisil pumps his fist and yells. He and Gabriel Diallo both won on Friday at the Davis Cup in Montreal.

Photo : Pascal Ratthe

Professional tennis is descending upon Manitoba this week.

The Winnipeg National Bank Challenger is officially underway in the central province, with a strong 32 player field in competition, featuring four Canadians including veteran Vasek Pospisil.

Let’s take a look at the players to watch:

Canadians set to compete

2014 Wimbledon doubles champion and former world no. 25 Pospisil is set to return to competition this week in Winnipeg as he looks to rebuild his form and ranking.

The 34-year-old from Vernon, BC has been sidelined due to injury and set to play for the first time since mid-April. While he’s played sparingly this season, he did have a key role for Canada in Davis Cup Qualifiers earlier this year in February, winning in singles to help the squad defeat Korea and advance to the Group Stage this September.

Alexis Galarneau of Quebec is the top ranked Canadian in the field. The 25-year-old, who’s ranked 169th overall, has posted strong results this season with an 18-12 win/loss record and a runner-up finish at the Mexico City Challenger on clay in April.

Galarneau is coming off an appearance at Wimbledon, where he reached the second round of qualifying. He’s the fifth seed this week in Winnipeg.

Newmarket, Ontario’s Liam Draxl and Saskatchewan’s Keegan Rice also received wild cards.

Liam Draxl prepares for a return in practice. He is playing this week at the ITF event in Laval, QC.
Photo : Pascal Ratthe

J.J. Wolf holds top seed

American J.J. Wolf is the No. 1 seed in Winnipeg.

The 25-year-old been ranked as high as 39th in the world, and reached an ATP singles final back in 2022, falling to Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Firenze Open in Italy.

Rounding out the top four seeds at the event are Terence Atmane and Benjamin Bonzi of France, and American Patrick Kypson.