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Daria Kasatkina
Kasatkina caps a successful August in North America (Photo credit: Tennis Canada)

Granby, Quebec – At the Granby National Bank Championships, tournament top-seed Daria Kasatkina clinched her sixth career title, defeating Australia’s Daria Saville in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the WTA 250 event in Granby, Quebec. Kasatkina now has two titles in August, having won the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic earlier this month. Kasatkina, who took a last-minute wild card to play in Granby, entered the US Open warm-up event as the No. 1 seed.

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She began her road to the title last Monday, surviving a three-set battle against Belgium’s Greet Minnen 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2. Kasatkina then cruised past Poland’s Magdalena Frech (6-3, 6-2), Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Dias (6-3, 6-2), and Frenchwoman Diane Parry (6-2, 6-0) en route to the finals. The championship match was a much more difficult task for Kasatkina, as Saville pushed her until the very end of the one-hour and 53-minute bout. Meanwhile, Saville reached the final with wins over Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (6-3, 6-3), Canadian Katherine Sebov (6-1, 6-0), China’s Xiyu Wang (6-3, 6-0), and benefited from a walkover in the semi-finals. It was an impressive week for the 28-year-old Australian, as she played outstanding tennis and reached her first WTA Tour-level final in five years.

Gabriel Diallo
Gabriel Diallo wins his first ATP Challenger title in familiar surroundings (Photo credit: Tennis Canada)

On Sunday, Canada’s Gabriel Diallo, a wildcard at the Granby National Bank Championships, won his first title on the ATP Challenger Tour, defeating No. 6 seed Juncheng Shang in straight sets 7-5, 7-6(5). With the win, Diallo jumps up 183 spots in the ATP rankings to a new career high of No. 335 in the world.

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Diallo, the 6-foot-7 Montreal native, began his championship run on Wednesday, defeating compatriot Dan Martin in the opening round 7-5, 6-1. He then won thrillers against Germany’s Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (6-4, 4-6, 7-6(2)) and Aziz Dougaz of Tunisia (3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5)), before cruising past Hiroki Moriya in the semi-final 6-3, 6-4 and earning a title-clinching victory against Shang on Sunday. His opponent, Shang, also had a tremendous week in Granby. The 17-year-old Chinese player was yet to drop a set heading into the finals, beating Canadian Marko Stakusic (6-4, 6-4), Americans Coline Markes (6-2, 6-2) and Aidan Mayo (6-3, 6-4), as well as world No. 103 Jordan Thompson of Australia (7-5, 6-4). His impressive streak came to an end at the hands of the red-hot Diallo.

In the championship bout, Diallo played extremely well behind his serve – even though he failed to serve out the match up 6-5 in the second set. The Canadian kept 70 per cent of his first serves in play, winning 76 per cent of those points and delivering 10 aces. He also attacked Shang’s second serve, winning 63 per cent of those points. Diallo would only lose one point on serve in the second-set tiebreaker and managed to clinch the title with a mini-break on Shang’s final serve. The win is the biggest of Diallo’s young career, as he captures his first Challenger-level title.


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