Above photo: Marcel Granollers. Photo by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography.
Granollers Wins Opener
Former world top 20 player Marcel Granollers of Barcelona, Spain advanced to the second round of men’s singles with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Australia’s Andrew Harris on Stadium Court Tuesday.
“It’s never easy, the first match in a tournament,” said Granollers. “You have to get used to the conditions. It’s my first time here”
Granollers, 32, reached a career high ranking of No. 19 in the world in 2012. He got off to a great start in 2018, winning two Challengers in Bangkok, Thailand in January. In April, he led world No. 9 David Goffin 6-4, 5-1 at an ATP 500 event in Barcelona before losing in three sets. Granollers lost in the first round of qualifying at the French Open and bowed out in the second round of qualifying at Wimbledon.
Seeded No. 2 at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger, Granollers will next play either Edan Leshem of Israel or American Evan Song.
“Right now I’m (ranked) 116 (in the world) and I’m trying to get back in the top 100,” Granollers said. “I need to play these tournaments (Challengers) but it’s difficult to get good results because there are plenty of good players here.”
Granollers is playing doubles in Winnipeg with his brother Gerard, who is three years younger than Marcel.
“In Challengers we try to play together,” said Granollers. “It’s a very nice time with him to share the court.”
Granollers is ranked No. 22 in the world in men’s doubles. He played in the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals men’s doubles event with Ivan Dodig of Croatia.
In 2012, Granollers was expected to play men’s doubles at the London Olympics with Rafael Nadal but an injury kept Nadal out of the Olympics. Granollers instead partnered with Marc Lopez.
“It was my first time in the Olympics,” Granollers said. “It’s a different competition with a great atmosphere. It was very nice to be there and it’s a memory that will be forever in my mind.”
Granollers and Nadal are just a couple of months apart in age. They won the ITF World 14 and Under Championship and World 16 and Under Championship (Junior Davis Cup) together for Team Spain.
“It’s nice to see a guy who I shared a lot of moments with become such a champion,” Granollers said of Nadal.
In singles, Granollers has reached the fourth round of the French Open three times (2012, 2014, 2016) in addition to reaching the fourth round at the US Open in 2013.
This week, he’s focused on the competition in Winnipeg.
“It’s a nice place, very relaxing,” said Granollers. “The courts are good so I think it’s a good place to play tennis.”
Sanchez Wins Marathon Match
In a match that lasted three and a half hours, No.4 women’s seed Maria Sanchez edged Akiko Omae of Japan 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 Tuesday. Sanchez was down a set and 3-0 before staging her comeback.
“It was a tight one,” said Sanchez. “She played well. I felt I started off pretty slow finding my rhythm and groove.”
The 28-year-old Californian was 10 years old when she learned to play tennis in Mexico.
“My parents are teachers and they took a sabbatical,” Sanchez said. “We moved to Mexico for a year and I picked up tennis and golf there and then I just stuck with tennis ever since.”
Sanchez played on the University of Southern California tennis team, winning the USTA/ITA National Indoor Singles Championship as a senior in the fall of 2010.
Sanchez is competing in Winnipeg for the first time. In 2017 she played three events in Canada: the ITF women’s circuit events in Vancouver and Toronto, as well as the National Bank Challenger in Saguenay.
“They’re always good tournaments (in Canada), well run,” said Sanchez. “The people are friendly. It always nice to come play in Canada.”
Wednesday Challenger Schedule
The No. 1 seeds in the men’s and women’s singles draws – Canadians Bianca Andreescu and Peter Polansky – will play their first round matches at the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger. Andreescu takes on American Lorraine Guillermo, and in the night match (not before 6 pm) Polansky will play Canada’s Pavel Krainik.
Wednesday will feature two other all-Canadian matches on the men’s side, with Benjamin Sigouin meeting Filip Peliwo and Brayden Schnur playing Frank Dancevic.
View tournament draws and Order of Play:
Tournament Photo Galleries
View Day 4 tournament photos by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography:
Jada Robinson. Photo by David Mahussier of 1812 Photography.