Schnur falls short against the top seed
Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, QC) booked her ticket into the quarter-finals on Wednesday after ousting former world no. 14 Elena Bovina in Gatineau. 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.
Although a brief rain delay interrupted a number of matches in the afternoon, it did not slow down the tournament’s sixth seed Aleksandra Wozniak, who took care of her Russian opponent Elena Bovina in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. In a match that lasted just a little over an hour, the Canadian was effective in her service games, with a first serve percentage of 70.5%. She also capitalized on eight of her break point opportunities. Playing in only her second Gatineau Challenger, Wozniak is off to the quarter-finals, where she will face the tournament’s third seed Mayo Hibi of Japan.
Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) was the only other Canadian in singles action on Wednesday, where he had the tough task of facing the tournament’s top seed Malek Jaziri of Tunisia. Despite taking the initial set and tallying twelve aces in the match, the Canadian was unable to overcome his powerful opponent. After almost two and a half hours of play and a rain delay, Schnur fell 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-1 in the second round.
Four Canadian teams were also in doubles action on Wednesday, with two moving on the next round and the other two coming up short. The pair of Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC) and Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), the tournament’s fourth seeds, made quick work of their first round match, winning 6-2, 6-3. The other victorious Canadian team of Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) and Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) pulled out a 7-6(7), 6-4 win in the final match of the day. Their compatriots Steven Diez (Toronto, ON), Brayden Schnur, Isabelle Boulais (Toronto, ON) and Alexandra Vagramov (Vancouver, BC) were not as fortunate, as both teams fell short of a place in the semi-finals.
There were two notable upsets on Wednesday, one in the men’s draw and the other in the women’s draw. Hiroko Kuwata of Japan, the fourth seed, fell to Chilean qualifier Alexa Guarachi in a lengthy three-hour battle. The men’s third seed Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia was forced to retire in his match against Yuki Bhambri of India.
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: Guy Deschênes