The Calgary National Bank Challenger swung into action Sunday in the city’s southeast.
But it did so without a trio of big names originally scheduled to be front and centre at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre.
Injuries to Canadian star Vasek Pospisil and American Robin Montgomery, the event’s defending women’s singles champion, are keeping them from coming to Calgary.
“Unfortunately, due to a lingering elbow injury, I have to withdraw from the event and therefore won’t be playing,” Pospisil told ‘The Challenger’. “Hope to see you all next year.”
Alexis Galarneau, a rising star in the world of tennis, has also been forced to withdraw from the highly anticipated tournament.
The international event is a stop on the ATP Challenger Tour — which is the second-highest tier of tennis competition, below the ATP Tour — runs through Sunday at the Alberta Tennis Centre. The event also includes ITF Women’s Pro Circuit action.
For those who were on hand for Day 1 of The Challenger, it was qualifying time.
Two Canadian men were among winners Sunday, as Juan Carlos Aguilar and Jonathan Sorbo advanced. Aguilar defeated Quebec’s Nicaise Muamba 6-4, 6-4, while Sorbo won in a walk-over of Ireland’s Osgar O’Hoison.
Four other Canadians fell in men’s singles action: Calgary’s Emmett Potter, 6-1, 6-4 to New Zealand’s Kiranpal Pannu; Edmonton’s Kaeten Mehta, 6-1, 6-3 to American Alfredo Perez; Toronto’s Kelsey Stevenson, 6-2, 6-1 to United Kingdom’s Patrick Brady; and Ontario’s Marko Stakusic, 6-1, retired to France’s Enzon Wallart.
Canadians Teah Chavez, Isabelle Boulais and Ellie Daniels were all winners in women’s qualifying Sunday. Regina’s Chavez defeated Poland’s Weronika Baszak 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4. Ontario’s Boulais upended American Hibah Shaikh 6-1, 6-4. And Daniels bested Japan’s Mana Ayukawa 6-3, 6-1.
Three other Canadians were in women’s singles action: Ontario’s Ana Grubor retired despite leading Vietnam’s Savanna Ly-Nguyen 6-3, 3-1; Ontario’s Scarlett Nicholson lost 6-4, 7-5 to American Amy Zhu; and Toronto’s Louise Kwong dropped a 6-4, 6-4 match to Switzerland’s Chelsea Fontenel.
Day 2 matches start Monday at 10 a.m. at the ATC.
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