Nothing is easy in the qualifying rounds of a Masters 1000 tennis tournament. On Sunday, IGA Stadium was the scene of epic battles in the final round of the event to determine the seven players who will confidently enter the main draw of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers, which starts on Monday in Montréal.
It took top seed No.53 Marcos Giron (1) of the US over two hours (2:19) to overpower Alexei Popyrin of Australia (6-4, 6-7 (10), 6-1). Giron had a lapse in the second that caused him to lose the tiebreak and forced a third set. Back in the driver’s seat, the talented American secured the final set.
Two other seeds, Fabio Fognini of Italy and Adrian Mannarino of France, had to fight to the end to ride out the tricky stage. Fognini disposed of Daniel Altmaier of Germany (6-3, 4-6, 6-2), while Mannarino came from behind to defeat Soonwoo Kwon of Korea (1-6, 6-4, 6-3) in 128 minutes of tough tennis.
Frenchmen Benoît Paire, Hugo Gaston and Arthur Rinderknech all managed to stay alive. Paire took three sets to oust Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland (6-3, 3-6, 6-1), while Gaston defeated Montréal’s own Gabriel Diallo, who was forced to retire while trailing 6-2, 2-1.
Rinderknech had an easier time against Taro Daniel of Japan, knocking him down in straight sets (6-4, 6-4).
Finally, Jack Draper (2) of Great Britain had an even easier time against Quentin Halys of France, who retired with an injury at 3-1 in the first.