Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, ON) is one of two Canadian players left in action at the Drummondville National Bank Challenger. The tournament, which offers $54,160 in total prize money, will be played from March 11-17 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
On Thursday, the majority of the tournament’s top seeds were successful, as Mikael Torpegaard (no. 11), Arthur De Greef (no. 5), Jurgen Zopp (no. 3), Yannick Maden (no. 2) and Ricardas Berankis (No. 1) all moved on to the quarter-finals. One of the matches of the day, however, belonged to John-Patrick Smith of Australia and Roberto Cid Subervi of the Dominican Republic, the no. 8 and no. 10 seeds respectively. In a match that lasted almost two and a half hours, it was Cid Subervi who booked himself a spot in the quarter-finals with a 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Smith, who was the inaugural champion of the tournament in Drummondville in 2015, returned to the court shortly after for doubles, playing alongside compatriot Matt Reid. They were taking on the duo of Frank Dancevic and Florin Mergea of Romania. Dancevic finished runner-up in both singles and doubles in the maiden edition of the tournament in 2015. He was unable, however, to give himself a chance to repeat his doubles performance, falling to the more experience Australian pair by a score of 7-5, 4-6, 10-4. Friday, Adil Shamasdin (Toronto, ON) and his partner Scott Clayton of Great Britain will be in doubles quarter-final action against the French pair of Evan Furness and Manuel Guinard.
Earlier in the week, wild card recipient Liam Draxl (Newmarket, ON) turned some heads, not only winning his opening round match against Yusuka Takahashi, but also putting up an impressive fight against the tournament’s eighth seed John-Patrick Smith. Playing in only his third Challenger tournament, the young 17-year-old Canadian notched his first ever win in this category of event and will find himself hovering around the no. 609 spot in the rankings. His fellow Canadians Pavel Krainik (Toronto, ON), Joshua Peck (Calgary, AB), Steven Diez (Toronto, ON) and Taha Baadi (Laval, QC) all fell in their opening round matches.
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: Sarah-Jäde Champagne