The quarter-finals are set at the Drummondville National Bank Challenger as seven seeded players have moved on to the next round. The tournament, which offers $54,160 in total prize money, will be played from February 17-23 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
It was a mixed bag for the top seeds on Thursday, as four were ousted by players ranked lower than them, including the tournament’s top seed Dominik Koepfer of Germany, who fell by a score of 6-3, 6-1 at the hands of Yosuke Watanuki of Japan. Other upsets included the no. 5 seed Andrew Harries of Australia losing out to Tobias Kamke of Germany and the no. 6 American Michael Mmoh falling to Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
The 2018 junior Australian Open champion Sebastian Korda of the United States, the no. 11 seed, came into the tournament and garnered attention not only for his family name, but also for his tenacity on court. The son of former Czech tennis player Petr Korda, who reached a career high ranking of no. 2 and won the title at the 1998 Australian Open, was taking on the no. 7 seed Max Purcell of Australia. Despite dropping the opening set, the American fought his was back to even the score and force a third and decisive set. He then put on a dominant performance, defeating Purcell thanks to a 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Australian Christopher O’Connel (no. 3), Maxime Cressy of the United States (no. 14) and Roberto Cid Subervi of the Dominican Republic also booked their spots into the quarter-finals.
There are no Canadians left in the draw, as they all fell in the early rounds, including Brayden Schnur, Alexis Galarneau and Filip Peliwo. The only time a player from Canada has won the tournament was back in 2017 when Denis Shapovalov captured his first Challenger title, notably defeating compatriot Félix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals.
*Feature photo: Sarah-Jäde Champagne