Tennis

A Triumphant Return for the Odlum Brown VanOpen

The Odlum Brown VanOpen, the biggest tennis showcase in Western Canada, was staged for the first time since 2019 last week at the Hollyburn Country Club in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to a top-notch player field for both the men’s and women’s events, the beloved tournament was welcomed back with open arms by its passionate and knowledgeable fans.

Lestienne and Grammatikopoulou Crowned Singles Champions

After a week of high-quality tennis and exciting matches, two deserving singles winners emerged victorious.

The ATP Challenger Tour 125 event was won by Constant Lestienne of France thanks to a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 triumph over his countryman Arthur Rinderknech in the men’s singles final. It’s his third Challenger title of the summer after claiming top honours at a pair of Spanish tournaments in July.

With his victory in Vancouver, the 30-year-old has now reached the final in four of five tournaments since Wimbledon and has the most match wins on the ATP Challenger Tour this season with a 38-16 record, including coming out on top in 19 of his last 21 matches. Lestienne’s impressive week at the VanOpen has propelled him to a new career-high of no. 75 on the ATP Rankings.

Photo: Joe Ng

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Greece’s Valentini Grammatikopoulou made history by becoming the first champion of the tournament as a WTA 125-level event after defeating second-seeded Lucia Bronzetti of Italy 6-2, 6-4 in the final. It’s also Grammatikopoulou’s first WTA title in addition to earning the distinction as the first player in tournament history to play her way through qualifying to book a spot in the main draw and proceed to hoist the winner’s trophy on Sunday. The 25-year-old has moved up to a career-high WTA ranking of no. 143 following her triumph in Vancouver.

A Strong Canadian Contingent

This year’s VanOpen once again included a strong contingent of Canadian athletes led by Vancouver’s own Rebecca Marino and Vasek Pospisil. While Marino suffered a tough three-set opening round loss at the hands of American Emma Navarro, Pospsil’s return home was more successful thanks to his semifinal showing. He defeated notable names Jordan Thompson and Gilles Simon, both former Top 50 players, en route to the final four before falling in straight sets to the runner-up, Rinderknech.

The 2022 edition of the VanOpen also marked the much-anticipated return of Eugenie Bouchard to the WTA Tour following a 17-month absence. The 28-year-old native of Montreal played her first tournament since March of 2021 after undergoing shoulder surgery. In singles, she lost her opening match 6-2, 6-2 to Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands. In doubles, she reached the quarter-finals with her compatriot Kayla Cross.

Pospisil us open fist pumpPhoto: camerawork usa

Other noteworthy Canadian results included wild card Cadence Brace’s upset win over third-seeded American Claire Liu in the first round and Gabriel Diallo’s three-set victory over Belgium’s Zizou Bergs in his opener. Diallo also won a qualifying match at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal two weeks ago.

Many Familiar Faces

On top of the distinctly Canadian flavour in both draws, they also featured several familiar names who have left their mark at the highest level of the sport.

The ATP draw had former world no. 6 Simon, who will be retiring at season’s end, former world no. 7 Fernando Verdasco, who reached the quarter-finals in Vancouver, and former world no. 25 Ugo Humbert who was crowned champion of the ATP 500 event on grass in Halle, Germany last year. It was the third ATP title of his career.

The WTA draw featured former world no. 9 Coco Vandeweghe. The American has tallied two WTA singles titles in her career and represented her country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

They are added to the tournament’s already stellar list of tournament alumni which boasts the likes of Félix Auger-Aliassime, Bianca Andreescu, Leylah Fernandez, Marcos Baghdatis, and Maria Sharapova.

For all the latest VanOpen news and results, visit https://vanopen.com/

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