The National Bank Open, formerly Rogers Cup

Diez stands firm

August 4, 2019

On Saturday, when the hammer fell on the opening round of the qualifying event of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, it spared only one Canadian. 

And it wasn’t the Canadian anyone expected, since many would have put their money on the two other representatives: former junior Wimbledon champion Filip Peliwo and Alexis Galarneau.

But World No. 204 Steven Diez, who has won only one match in the main draw of an ATP tournament, overpowered Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in two identical sets. On Sunday, the 28-year-old Torontonian, who makes his home in Spain, will fight to survive the quallies with a win over Bradley Klahn (13) of the US, who disposed of Viktor Troicki of Serbia.

As for Peliwo, he was overpowered by John Millman of Australia. Their 52-minute duel ended at 6-1, 6-0. 

Galarneau fought hard against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, who is no stranger to main draws, but fell in two sets (6-2, 6-4).

Photo: Patrice Lapointe

Among the more well-known players, Daniel Evans of the UK, Marcel Granollers of Spain, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia (in a third-set tiebreaker), Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan and Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea, who toppled Robin Haase of the Netherlands (7-6, 7-6), all made it to the second round.

(Feature photo : Patrice Bériault / Tennis Canada)