The men’s and women’s doubles titles were up for grabs for Canadian players on Saturday at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger.
The all-Canadian duo of Bianca Andreescu (Mississauga, ON) and Carson Branstine (Orange, CA) were in action on Saturday morning, taking on Chieh-Yu Hsu of Chinese Taipei and her partner Marcela Zacarias of Mexico in the doubles final. Playing in the intense heat, the Canadian girls had a slow start to the match, as they were unable to convert on their various break point opportunities and ended up dropping the opener. Andreescu and Branstine elevated their level in the second, outhitting their opponents. They forced a decider where they dominated play, taking home the title by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 10-4.
This is the pair’s first professional doubles title, they reached the final at the National Bank Cup presented by IGA in Quebec City last September. When speaking about their time at the tournament this week, they had nothing but good things to say. “We are so happy to be able to win here in Gatineau. We love playing together and it means so much for us to be able to get our first title as a team. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us, playing in front of Canadian fans is the best,” said Andreescu.
The 2016 Gatineau singles champion Peter Polansky was hoping to add to his collection as he disputed the men’s doubles final playing alongside Darian King of Barbados. The pair had the tough task of facing the tournament’s second seeds Robert Galloway and Bradley Klahn of the United States. Klahn actually won the doubles title in Gatineau last year. In a tightly disputed match, it was the American duo who were victorious, winning the tight match by a score of 7-6(4), 4-6, 10-8. This was the fourth three-set match that Polansky played this week.
After a full day of action, the singles finals are set. On the men’s side, American Bradley Klahn, the tournament’s fifth seed, eliminated Jason Kubler of Australia, the second seed, by a score of 6-2, 6-3. The Australian came to Gatineau fresh off his win at the Winnipeg Challenger last week. For his part, Klahn has some history with the city of Gatineau as he was crowned champion in doubles in 2017. In Sunday’s final, he will take on Ugo Humbert of France who defeated the seventh seed Go Soeda of Japan in straight sets 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday. The Frenchman has been garnering attention all week in Gatineau, as he eliminated three Canadian players in Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON), Benjamin Sigouin (Vancouver, BC) and Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON).
As for the women, Astra Sharman of Australia made quick work of qualifier Alicia Barnett of Great-Britain, booking her spot in the final with a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Earlier in the tournament, she notably eliminated Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the opening round. She will take on Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico, the tournament’s eight seed. Rodriguez defeated the sixth seed Georgia Brescia of Italy in a relatively tight three-set semi-final match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
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