It was finals day at the Drummondville National Bank Challenger on Sunday. The tournament, which offers $54,160 in total prize money, was played from March 11-17 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Adil Shamasdin (Toronto, ON) was competing for his second doubles title of 2019, playing along Scott Clayton of Great-Britain. The pair had previously won one title together at a Challenger in France earlier in the year. The duo, who came into the tournament as the third seeds in doubles, had the tough task of facing the top seeds and frequent doubles partners, John-Patrick Smith and Matt Reid of Australia. The Canadian-British team took the opening set thanks to a late break, but were unable to keep the momentum going in the second. The match required a tiebreak, where Shamasdin and Clayton took control and captured the title thanks to a 7-5, 3-6, 10-5.
“Last year, both Scott and myself were injured for almost half the year in 2018 and it definitely feels good to be back in the winners’ circle. Both of us are just happy to be playing again and push through a lot of struggles that we had and keep fighting,” stated Shamasdin after the win. “The tournament staff did an unbelievable job this week, last year and since the start of the event. Continue the great work and players will keep coming back year after year.”
In the singles final, it was the top two seeds who went head-to-head for the trophy. World no. 95 Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania was in search of his second Challenger title of the year while Yannick Maden of Germany was looking to capture his first ever title at a Challenger event. Both players had been playing good tennis all week, dominating their opponents on a few occasions. In Sunday’s final, it was Berankis, the former world no. 50, who came out strong, taking the opening set. The second was much closer as Maden went up a break early. He was unable, however, to maintain the lead and was broken by his opponent twice. After a little over an hour and a half of play, Berankis was crowned champion with a 6-3, 7-5 victory.
The tournament celebrated it’s fifth anniversary in 2019 and set an attendance record of 5 776 spectators.
The Drummondville National Bank Challenger is part of the group of tournaments sponsored by National Bank, a group that includes combined events in Granby and Gatineau as well as a men’s Challenger in Calgary and two women’s Challengers in Saguenay and Winnipeg.
*Feature photo: Jean-Samuel Gauthier