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Shapovalov crowned champion at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger

Jul 23, 2017

Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) was crowned the men’s singles champion on Sunday in Gatineau, defeating compatriot Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON) in the final. The tournament featured 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 was held from July 17 to 23 at Parc de l’Île in Gatineau.

The 2017 men’s final featured an all-Canadian match-up between the defending champion Peter Polansky and Denis Shapovalov, champion of the Gatineau Futures and Drummondville Challenger earlier this year. Polansky was playing in his second consecutive final, having narrowly lost out to Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in last week’s Winnipeg Challenger. Sunday’s final was also the ninth Challenger final this year between countrymen, but the first between two Canadians in a decade and only the third all time.

The 18-year-old Shapovalov was expeditious with the first set, breaking Polansky twice early in the match. During his own service games, Shapovalov was efficient, tallying two aces in the first. He only struggled late in the set, committing two double faults and fighting off two break points. The young Canadian closed out the set in a little over half an hour.

A short bout of rain delayed the start of the second set. Once play restarted, it was Polansky this time who went up the early break. Both opponents then exchanged breaks, with Polansky taking the second set. In the third, Shapovalov went up an early break again, while becoming more consistent on serve. He fired three of his nine aces in the match on route to his victory 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

“I am really glad to have won my second Challenger title of the year, both of which have been at home in Canada. Tournament’s like these are great for Canadian players because we get to play close to home and in front of very support crowds,” stated Shapovalov after his victory.

With his win, Shapovalov becomes just the second teenager on the ATP World Tour to win multiple titles this year, joining Frances Tiafoe of France. Shapovalov is also the fourth Canadian winner on the ATP Challenger tour this year, a first since 2013.

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.