Above photo: Evan Song. Photo by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography.
Song Advances To Main Draw
American Evan Song edged Ricardo Rodriguez-Pace 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a final round men’s singles qualifying match Monday on Stadium Court.
“My game style, a lot of it revolves around my fitness,” said Song. “It’s pretty warm today and really humid because of the rain. That was a big factor, just staying in it.”
Rodriguez-Pace, who has won nine career Futures men’s singles titles, competed in Davis Cup for Venezuela in February against Guatemala and in April against Uruguay.
“Ricardo’s a great player,” Song said. “He’s a former top 300 (in the world) so I knew it was going to be tough.”
Song, 26, won the inaugural U.S. Grass Court Tennis Championships in June. The event was held at the 24-court Wessen Lawn Tennis Club in Pontiac, Michigan.
“That was a great experience, some of the best grass courts I ever played on,” said Song. “They’re hoping to get a Futures or Challenger there next year so it was very cool I got to be a part of that.”
Song drove eight hours to come to Winnipeg after reaching the semifinals of the Canada F5 Futures in Saskatoon (July 2-8). He has won two career Futures men’s singles titles.
“My first passion was always basketball,” Song said. “I played club basketball. Then I had the sad realization I wasn’t going to be six-foot-six so I thought it’d be better to pick a different sport.”
Song is from Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas. Eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi is a product of Las Vegas.
“Back in the day Andre did a good job (of promoting tennis in Las Vegas),” said Song. “He had the educational school and then he was doing the academy.”
Yurovsky At Home In Winnipeg
Ronit Yurovsky advanced to the quarterfinals of women’s doubles with partner Kennedy Shaffer on Monday at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. The American duo beat the Canadian team of Jada Bui/Layne Sleeth 6-3, 6-4.
Yurovsky is a former women’s doubles champion at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, teaming up with Francesca Di Lorenzo to win the title in 2016. Yurovsky also reached the semifinals of women’s singles that year. In 2017, she lost to No.1 seed Nicole Gibbs in the round of 16 in Winnipeg.
“When I walked in I had a big smile on my face because everyone is so friendly here,” Yurovsky said of coming to this year’s Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. “It’s nice to be back. Everyone is so welcoming. It almost feels like home.”
Yurovsky, who grew up in Pittsburgh, finished her college tennis career in 2016 with the third most all-time singles wins at the University of Michigan (117). She played four of the National Bank Challenger series tournaments in Canada in 2017, competing in Winnipeg, Gatineau, Granby and Saguenay. Yurovsky plans to play this month’s National Bank Challengers in Gatineau and Granby.
“I always love playing at home in the States but when I come to Canada the crowd is great,” said the 24-year-old. “A lot of people come out to watch. Everyone just loves tennis here and it’s really fun to play here. The environment is really fun.”
Yurovsky reached a career high ranking of No. 357 in the world in July of 2017.
“I got injured a bit last year,” said Yurovsky, who lost in the first round of main draw women’s singles Monday at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. “I was out for a few months. I haven’t really been able to bounce back since then. I feel healthy now. It’s just a matter of getting back into the groove of winning matches.”
Ronit Yurovsky. Photo by Karl Mendoza of www.kamera8studios.ca.
Tuesday Challenger Schedule
Canadians Rebecca Marino, Alexandra Mikhailuk, Layne Sleeth and Katherine Sebov will play first-round women’s singles matches on Tuesday. On the men’s side, former world No. 19 Marcel Granollers of Spain takes on Andrew Harris of Australia. In the night match (not before 6 pm), 2016 Winnipeg National Bank Challenger men’s singles champion Go Soeda of Japan will play Laurynas Grigelis of Lithuania.
View tournament draws and Order of Play:
Tournament Photo Galleries
View tournament photos by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography and Karl Mendoza of www.kamera8studios.ca: http://winnipeg.nationalbankchallenger.com/gallery/