The team of Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) were in doubles semi-final action Friday at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger. The Canadian pair were playing in their first tournament together since reaching the final at the National Bank Cup in Quebec City last September. While Andreescu has been mainly focused on singles, Branstine has been nursing an injury.
But the dynamic duo teamed up again this week in Gatineau, a tournament where Andreescu actually won the doubles title in 2016, playing alongside another fellow Canadian, Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC).
Despite facing tough opponents in Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller of the United States, the tournament’s second seeds, the Canadian girls came out flying to start the match. They dominated the semi-final from start to finish, needing only an hour to take care of the American team, winning by a score of 6-2, 6-1. They will play in the final on Saturday against the team of Chieh-Yu Hsu of Chinese Taipei and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico.
Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) also booked his spot in the men’s doubles final, playing alongside partner Darian King of Barbados. The two handily ousted the top doubles seeds by a score of 6-4, 6-2. They will play against the American pair of Robert Galloway and Bradley Klahn, the tournament’s second seeds.
Looking to reach her fourth singles semi-final of the year was Katherine Sebov (Toronto, ON), the fifth seed at this year’s tournament. She was taking on Alicia Barnett of Great Britain. After taking the first set rather quickly, the Canadian experienced difficulties maintaining her level in the second, especially on serve. Both players’ had to deal with rather intense heat, as their match was being played under the hot sun in the middle of the afternoon. Sebov’s opponent managed to force a decider, where she defeated the young Canadian 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Polansky was back on the court for the final match of the day, as he was taking on Ugo Humbert of France. Despite the Canadian begin the tournament favourite, it was the Frenchman who was coming into the quarter-final match on a hot streak. Earlier in the week, he had defeated two other Canadians, Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) and Benjamin Sigouin (Vancouver, BC). After the first two sets went to a tiebreak it was only fitting that the decider would also go the distance. Despite having four match points in the second set, Polansky was unable to overcome his hard hitting opponent, losing 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in a marathon match that lasted just over three hours.
*Feature photo : Guy Deschênes