Polansky, Bester, Schnur, Peliwo, Wozniak and Robillard-Millette round out the strong Canadian contingent
Tennis Canada announced Thursday the list of players who will participate in the Gatineau National Bank Challenger. The tournament features a mixed draw, with the men competing in the $75,000 ATP Challenger event and the women competing in the $25,000 ITF Challenger event. The tournament will be held from July 17 to 23 at Parc de l’Île in Gatineau.
In the men’s draw, Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC), Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON), Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC), Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) and Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) are all set to compete in this year’s tournament. Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov have enjoyed recent success in on the professional tour and have made significant jumps in the rankings. Auger-Aliassime was recently crowned champion at the ATP Challenger event in Lyon, which helped him move up 105 spots and reach a career-high ranking of world no. 231. This achievement put his name in the history books, as he became the seventh youngest ATP Challenger winner. Shapovalov has also had an impressive run this year, notably defeating his compatriot on route to winning the singles title at the ATP Challenger event in Drummondville. He also took home the trophy at the Gatineau Futures event and recently received a main draw wild card for Wimbledon, which will mark his first presence in a Grand Slam main draw. The young Canadians are not alone in their 2017 accomplishments, Filip Peliwo went on an impressive run overseas earlier in the year, where he won six ITF Futures titles. Defending champion Peter Polansky will also be participating in the tournament this year.
On the women’s side, Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) will make a return to the Gatineau Challenger after an early round exit in 2016. The Quebec native and former world no. 21 is no stranger to the local circuit of tournaments, having reached the quarter-finals in Saguenay and the semi-finals in Granby last year. Joining Wozniak in Gatineau could be Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Blainville, QC). She will be looking to defend her doubles title this year, having won with compatriot Bianca Andreescu in 2016. She will also attempt to become the second Canadian in a row to win the singles title in Gatineau, after Andreescu was crowned champion last year. Robillard-Millette is expected to receive one of the tournament’s wild cards, the rest of which will be announced at a later date.
“Our Canadian players are currently experiencing tremendous success in 2017 and they will look to continue their strong play on the outdoor courts at Parc de l’Île this summer,” stated the newly appointed Tournament Director in Gatineau, Francis Milloy. “Fans will have the opportunity to attend matches featuring a variety of Canadian players, ranging from tournament veterans to our next generation of stars.”
The Gatineau National Bank Challenger is the first of two mixed draw tournaments held in Quebec during the month of July. The tournament will be followed by the Granby National Bank Challenger.
Feature photo: Jean-Samuel Gauthier