On Saturday, Adil Shamasdin (Toronto, ON) was looking to reach the doubles final in Drummondville for the second time in his career. 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.
In the last doubles semi-final, Shamasdin and his partner Scott Clayton of Great-Britain were in action against the veteran team of Dennis Novikov of the United States and Ante Pavic of Croatia. The Canadian-British duo had to play catch-up after losing the opening set. Ultimately, they were able to complete the comeback, securing a spot in the final with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 10-5 win. The duo have already had a great start of the year, winning the doubles title at a Challenger event in France just a few weeks ago.
In the first singles semi-final of the day, Yannick Maden of Germany, the tournament’s second seed, was taking on a tricky opponent in Michael Redlicki of the United States. Despite his moderate ranking of no. 349 in the world, he caused the upset over three of the top seeds, including a tightly disputed match against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia. After dropping the opening set, Maden elevated his game, notably committing less errors and serving more effectively. The match required a decider where after going down 4-0, Redlicki retired with an injury to his leg. Maden booked his spot in the final with a 5-7, 7-5, 4-0 victory.
Fighting for a chance to join Maden in the final were Matteo Viola of Italy, the no. 14 seed, and Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. Both players had different journeys to the semi-final, as the Italian took part in a number of lengthy matches early on in the week while the tournament favourite had yet to drop a set. Berankis’ experience was on full display on Saturday, as the former world no. 50 overpowered his opponent to take the match in a little over an hour by a score of 6-4, 6-0.
The singles final between Berankis and Maden will start at noon on Sunday and will be followed the doubles final, where Shamasdin and Clayton will take on the top seeds John-Patrick Smith and Matt Reid of Australia.
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