Bester and Polansky capture doubles title
The semifinals of the Granby National Bank Challenger were played on Saturday and Philip Bester (Vancouver, BC) was still in title contention.
After falling in the Granby semifinals in 2012 and 2013 at the hands of his compatriots Vasek Pospisil and Frank Dancevic, Bester earned a spot in his first career ATP Challenger Tour final thanks to a 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 win over fourth-seeded Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, who beat Félix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals. The two players traded service holds throughout the first set and Bester in a forehand winner at 6-5 in the tiebreak to take a one set lead. Nishioka came back strong in the second set, earning the first break of the match and losing just four points on his serve to force a third set. Bester went on the offence in the final frame and continually put pressure on his opponent to jump out to a 5-1 lead and secure the win. The 26-year-old Canadian has won two Futures titles this season and will now play for the biggest title of his career on Sunday against Vincent Millot of France who beat Italy’s Matteo Donati 6-4, 6-1 in the other semifinal.
On the women’s side, top-seeded Brit Johanna Konta booked her place in the final following a 6-0, 7-5 win over Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico. Both players came to Granby full of confidence. Rodriguez won a pair of silver medals (singles and women’s doubles) at last week’s Pan Am Games in Toronto while Konta reached the quarter-finals of the WTA event in Eastbourne last month on the strength of victories over Ekaterina Makarova and Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza. Konta will face reigning Granby finalist Stephanie Foretz of France in Sunday’s championship match. The 34-year-old veteran defeated Aussie Jessica Moore 6-2, 7-5 in the semifinals.
Bester returned to the court after his singles victory to capture the doubles title alongside his compatriot Peter Polansky (Thornhill, ON). They beat Enzo Couacaud of France and Aussie Luke Saville 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 10-7. This marks the second time that both Bester and Polansky have won the Granby doubles crown. The women’s final went the of the Aussie duo composed of Jessica Moore and Storm Sanders who topped two-time NCAA doubles champion Erin Routliffe (Caledon, ON) and Brit Laura Robson 6-2, 7-5.