For the first time since Calgary in 1993, there were four Canadians playing in the quarter- finals of an ATP Challenger Tour event on Friday at the $50,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger. Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC), Frank Dancevic (Niagara, Falls, ON), Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), and Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) all reached the final eight, and it was the youngest of the quartet who advanced to the semifinals.
Shapovalov became the first sixteen-year-old since Stefan Kozlov in 2014 at Sacramento to reach the semifinals of a Challenger tournament when fifth-seeded Argentine Renzo Olivo was forced to retire from their quarter-final match because of an injury during the first set tiebreak.
In the opening round, Shapovalov became the first player born in 1999 to win a main draw Challenger match.
“I’m very excited to have earned my first Challenger wins especially since it is in my home country,” said Shapovalov. “I’m pleased to be having a great run this week achieving some good wins over top players. I feel like the home crowd has helped me to get through some tough matches. I’m also very grateful to have a strong support team around me who have helped me in different ways to ensure that I stay on the right path.”
In Saturday’s semifinals, Shapovalov will face fourth-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain who defeated Bester 6-3, 7-6(3) in the quarter-finals.
After qualifying for the main draw at Indian Wells last week and playing a close match against Fernando Verdasco in the first round, Polansky had his run in Drummondville ended by Tim Van Ritjhoven of the Netherlands who earned a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory. Van Ritjhoven will meet Edward Corrie in the semifinals. Corrie continued his strong play during this Quebec tournament swing by posting a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over reigning Drummondville finalist Dancevic in Friday’s evening session match. The 28-year-old Brit also reached the quarter-finals in Sherbrooke last week and the semifinals at the Gatineau Futures.
Saturday’s singles semifinals will get underway at 12 p.m. followed by the doubles final.