Auger-Aliassime and Polansky will meet in the second round
After Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC) lost on Tuesday, five Canadians took to the court for their first round matches on Wednesday at the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger which is being held until March 19 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
Félix Auger-Aliassime (Montréal, QC) played the first match of the evening session against Swiss Adrien Bossel. After a fast start, the 16-year-old Canadian needed to go the distance against an opponent who is 14 years his senior. Bossel, ranked no. 587 in the world, broke Auger-Aliassime’s serve twice in the second set and jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the third before Auger-Aliassime mounted an impressive comeback to pull out a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win.
“I started really well, but then I started to struggle with my serve and that’s what cost me the second set,” Auger-Aliassime said after the match. “In the third set, I was still having trouble finding my game, but I kept fighting and the crowd really helped me find a way to win.”
Auger-Aliassime, champion at the Sherbrooke Futures last week, is now riding a six match win streak. He will face his compatriot and the tournament’s second seed, Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON), in the second round on Thursday.
Polansky booked his spot in round two thanks to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Grégoire Barrère of France. The world no. 124 reached the quarter-finals in Drummondville last year. Polansky beat Auger-Aliassime in their first career meeting at the Gatineau National Bank Challenger last summer.
After being forced to withdraw last week with a virus, Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON) was back in action on Wednesday night against Brit Edward Corrie, the reigning finalist in Drummondville. The 17-year-old was aggressive from the outset and came away with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph.
“I was happy to be back on court. I knew that I was going to have to work for my points against an experienced player like Edward (Corrie), who reached the final here last year,” Shapovalov commented. “Tomorrow I play Quentin Halys who I know well from our junior days.”
Brayden Schnur (Pickering, ON) made it four Canadians in the second round after defeating American Sekou Bangoura 6-3, 6-3. He will take on Germany’s Tim Puetz for a place in the final eight. For his part, Filip Peliwo (Vancouver, BC) fell 6-2, 6-1 to Gleb Sakharov of France. Sakharov finished runner up in Gatineau and Sherbooke to Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime, respectively.