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Vernon tennis player up to Quebec Challenge

Vasek Pospisil wins ATP Challenger Tour’s National Bank final Sunday, Nov. 20, outside Montreal
Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil won the ATP Challenger Tour’s National Bank Challenger Sunday, Nov. 20, in Drummondville, Que., beating American Michael Mmoh in three sets in the final.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson file photo)

The Canadian segment of the 2022 season on the professional tennis circuit wrapped up Sunday, Nov. 20, outside Montreal by crowning a Canadian champion at the Drummondville National Bank Challenger.

Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil won the $80,000 ATP Challenger Tour event contested at the René-Verrier Indoor Tennis Club, as the third seed took down second-seeded American Michael Mmoh 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 to earn his second Challenger title of the year in his fourth final appearance of 2022.

The singles final for the seventh edition of the tournament was a high-quality, tightly contested match that took nearly three hours to complete.

The championship tilt went back and forth from start to finish with only a few points separating both finalists. Pospisil earned the decisive break in the fifth game of the third set to secure a hard-fought victory.

The 32-year-old veteran saved eight of the 10 break points he faced in the match thanks to 18 aces, and he was able to break Mmoh’s serve on two occasions with some strong return games.

Pospisil advanced to Sunday’s championships with a three-set win over France’s Antoine Escoffier 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The nearly two-hour contest finally went Pospisil’s way after he fended off two break points in the ninth game of the decider before sealing the victory on his second match-point opportunity.

Despite struggling on his second serves – winning only 33 per cent of those points – Pospisil capitalized whenever he managed to land his first serves in play, claiming 84 per cent of first-serve points.

Mmoh cruised to the final Saturday, downing Michael Gerts of Belgium 6-2, 6-0.

Sunday’s contest was the fourth career meeting between the two players and the first since 2019. Pospisil has won three of the four matches. It was also Mmoh’s fourth Challenger final of the season.

Pospisil took home top honours at the Quimper Challenger in France back in January to go along with his Drummondville title. He takes over from American Maxime Cressy, currently ranked No. 32 in the world, as the tournament’s reigning champion.

This latest win on home soil will propel Pospisil back inside the top 100 on the ATP rankings at No. 100 which should allow him to earn direct entry into the main draw of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season in January.

Pospisil will now head to Malaga, Spain to represent Canada in the Davis Cup Finals beginning later this week alongside Félix Auger-Aliassime, Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, and Denis Shapovalov. The Canadian squad will face Germany in the quarter-finals on Thursday, Nov. 24.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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