Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime also part of strong Canadian contingent
Drummondville, March 1, 2017 – The list of players for the third edition of the $75,000 Drummondville National Bank Challenger was unveiled on Wednesday. The tournament will be played from March 11-19 at the René-Verrier indoor tennis club in Drummondville.
“Tennis fans will be treated to a week of high-level tennis, with an especially strong Canadian presence in this year’s tournament,” stated Tournament Director Richard Quirion. “We are delighted to welcome Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov to Drummondville. Both have made impressive runs in previous editions of this tournament in both Rimouski and Drummondville. They will surely be inspirations for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who will be playing the event for the second time.”
Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver, BC) is set to lead the Canadian contingent as the second seed in this year’s tournament. The 26-year-old, currently ranked no. 128 in the world, has had a good start to the year, winning both of his singles matches in the first round of the World Group of Davis Cup in Ottawa. Pospisil’s strong play representing his country play hints at a promising upcoming season. No stranger to this tournament, formerly known as the Rimouski Challenger, he won the singles title in 2012, was the runner-up in 2013 and won the doubles title in 2008, playing alongside Milos Raonic. Joining Pospisil in the main draw is fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov (Richmond Hill, ON). The young star has been making a name for himself in the last year, having made a trip to the junior Roland-Garros semifinals, capturing the junior Wimbledon title, and winning three Futures tournaments. After an impressive performance in last year’s tournament, which saw him beat the world no. 101 and become the first 16-year-old since Stefan Kozlov to reach the semifinal of an ATP Challenger Tour event, Shapovalov will be looking to go all the way in 2017. In addition to playing in the singles draw, he will also be playing doubles with Canadian rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime (Montreal, QC). In 2015, the Montrealer became the youngest player in history to qualify for the main draw of a Challenger event at the age of fourteen. Currently slated to play in qualifying, Auger-Aliassime could be one of four players to receive a wildcard into the main draw.
This year, the top seed belongs to the world no. 93, the young Czech player Adam Pavlasek. The 22-year-old had a good 2016 season, notably with wins at Challenger events in the Czech Republic (Prague) and Bosnia/Herzegovina. Also slated to come to Drummondville this year are a pair of Aussies, Sam Groth and John-Patrick Smith. Groth, world no. 184, was a regular when the tournament was played in Rimouski, having won the doubles title in 2013 and the singles title in 2014. His compatriot Smith, currently ranked no. 243 in the world, shared in the 2013 doubles title and was the champion in the inaugural year of the tournament being played in Drummondville in 2015. Another notable name in the main draw is the 2016 runner-up, Edward Corrie of Great Britain. He made a deep run in last year’s tournament, having lost in the final to fellow Brit Daniel Evans. The world no. 242 will be looking to go even further in the 2017 edition of the Drummondville Challenger. Fans will also want to keep an eye on the 26-year-old Polish player Jerzy Janowicz, who reached a career-high ranking of no. 14 in 2013.
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 women’s Challengers in Saguenay and Winnipeg.