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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 11, 2020
One of the biggest stars in Canadian tennis will be competing in Calgary next month.
On Monday morning, organizers of the Calgary National Bank Challenger announced that Vasek Pospisil will be playing at their tournament, which will run Feb. 24 to March 1 at the Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre.
Pospisil was named Postmedia’s Male Athlete of the Year in 2019 after an incredible year that saw him play on the Canadian Davis Cup team that went all the way to the prestigious international tournament’s final for the first time.
He’s got star power, in other words, and remains a relevant and dangerous opponent for anyone at the major ATP tournaments where he usually plays. Just last year, Pospisil beat two of the top-10 singles players in the world.
“It’s amazing, he had a back in jury and was out for six and a half months, but now that he’s back he’s playing the best tennis I’ve ever seen him play,” said Danny Da Costa, tournament direction for the Calgary National Bank Challenger. “To get him (to come play in Calgary) was a nice little coup.”
In a moment where Canadian tennis is shining brighter than ever, Pospisil is right in the thick of things. He has been ranked as high as No. 25 in the world and No. 4 in doubles, won the Wimbledon doubles tournament and advanced to the singles quarter-final at the prestigious British event, as well.
While he’s currently ranked No. 146 in the world in singles, that’s largely because of the injury that kept him out for the early part of last year.
There’s no question Pospisil belongs higher on any list of the top players in the world, though. His run in the Davis Cup – when he beat the players ranked 12th, 36th and 48th in the world – proved that.
Pospisil just needs to get active and win some games, and the Calgary National Bank Challenger is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
In Calgary, Pospisil will have the chance to significantly boost his world ranking, and the fact that the tournament is being held only five hours from Vernon, B.C., where his family lives, makes it even more appealing.
“I’m extremely excited to play in the Calgary National Bank Challenger at the Alberta Tennis Centre in February,” Pospisil said in a press release. “I’ve head that the organizers run an incredible event and that the crows and tennis community in Alberta are amazing. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
Organizers will announce the rest of the field for the tournament on Feb. 10, and while Pospisil will probably be the biggest name competing there will surely be an opportunity for fans to watch a few players who could be making a real impact on the rankings in the next year or two.
The ATP Challenger Tour typically attracts players looking to earn the points required to be entered into the main draws of ATP Tour tournaments, so there are often a mix of up-and-comers who are just about ready to break through and a few players trying to keep their careers alive.
With the way the tennis scene has blown up in this country in recent years, nobody should be surprised if there are a couple Canadians who open a few eyes with their play, too.
“This is the best era of Canadian tennis and we have such good, young, dynamic players,” Da Costa said. “Him, Milos (Raonic) and Eugenie (Bouchard) are in many ways the catalysts for all the success we’re having now with Felix (Auger Aliassime) and Dennis (Shapovalov) and Bianca (Andreescu), but Vasek and Milos and Genie are still in the primes of their careers. They have many years of good tennis ahead of them. The growth of Canadian tennis is really inspiring for all the local kids who play in our clubs, and there’s not really a better time to grow and promote a professional tennis tournament in Calgary.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020