Calgary Challenger wraps up tennis success by crowning singles champs

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The challenge was accepted by scores of tennis talents.

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But when it was all said and done, only two singles players and a pair of doubles teams were crowned champions of the 2022 Calgary National Bank Challenger.

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Robin Montgomery and Dominik Koepfer left town with the singles titles, while Catherine Harrison and Sabrina Santamaria and Maximilian Neuchrist and Michail Pervolarakis earned doubles honours at the eight-day hard-court event — the third of its kind — hosted by the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre in southeast Calgary.

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But Calgarians were the real winners, says tournament director Danny Da Costa.

“With over 10,500 people attending this year’s event, this was our most successful Calgary National Bank Challenger,” Da Costa said. “This year’s event was a week-long sold-out event.”

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The women’s title was won Sunday by fifth-seeded American Montgomery, who came into the ITF Women’s Pro Circuit event ranked No. 247 in the WTA. 

Only 18, Montgomery upended former world No. 29 Urszula Radwanska of Poland in the 7-6 (6), 7-5 straight-sets finale, scooping up her first ITF championship of 2022 and just second of her rising career. 

The young American, a two-time junior grand-slam queen, saved a set-point in the opening set tiebreak and, then, dug herself out of a break deficit in the second set for the victory in the $60,000 ITF tournament. It comes just weeks after losing to Radwanska in the quarterfinals of the Tevlin Challenger in Toronto.

“Our fans were treated to a world-class display highlighted by Montgomery,” Da Costa said. “Robin is going to be a major tennis star, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her among the top-20 female players in the next 12 to 18 months. It was an honour to have her with us this week.”

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Also Sunday, Germany’s Dominik Koepfer, formerly ranked 50th in the world, defeated Australia’s Aleksandar Vukic 6-2, 6-4 for the men’s singles title of the $75,000 ATP tourney.

It was a second ATP Challenger Tour take for the German, but it was his first since 2019.

With the win, the 28-year-old rose to No. 194 in the rankings.

The doubles champs were crowned Saturday.

The American duo of Catherine Harrison and Sabrina Santamaria topped Canadians Kayla Cross, of London, Ont., and Marina Stakusik, of Toronto, in a 7-6 (2), 6-4 women’s doubles final.

The men’s doubles final saw Austria’s Maximilian Neuchrist and Greece’s Michail Pervolarakis earn a straight-sets championship — 6-4, 6-4 — over Italy’s Julian Ocleppo and Germany’s Kai Wehnelt.

This third edition of the Calgary Challenger marked the launch of the women’s event.

“Many players, coaches and players commented that this was one of the best Challenger events in the world,” added Da Costa, who doubles as the CEO of the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre.Our Calgary National Bank Challenger is quickly becoming recognized world-wide, and we are already excited to deliver next year’s event.”

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