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Canadian tennis rivals square off in Granby semifinal

GRANBY — Peter Polansky will be looking for a measure of revenge if he faces fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov on Saturday in the semifinals of the $100,000 National Bank Granby Challenger tennis tournament.

“He beat me in the final at Gatineau last week and I’m looking forward for a chance to play him again,” the second-seeded Polansky said after he breezed past eighth-seeded Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 6-3, 6-4 in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Shapovalov, the fourth seed from Richmond Hill, Ont., met American Mackenzie McDonald in a late quarterfinal match that began after 10 p.m..

The other semifinal matches unseeded Torontonian Brayden Schnur against the top seed, Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia. Schnur needed three sets to beat Australian Max Purcell 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, while Kavcic eliminated Tatsuma Ito of Japan 6-1, 7-6.

Polansky, whose best result here was a semifinal appearance in 2009 — he lost to Kevin Anderson of South Africa, said he didn’t pay much attention to the seedings. The 29-year-old from Toronto said he was confident he could beat any of the players in the event if he played his best.

He was near the top of his game Friday as he needed only 63 minutes to beat Uchiyama. Polansky dominated on his serve. He put 75 per cent of his first serves in play and won 86 per cent of those points. He was also strong off the ground, extending the points and waiting for Uchiyama to lose his patience and make mistakes.

Polansky and the 19-year-old Shapovalov are both striving to reach the top 100 in the ATP rankings.

Polansky is at a career-high 118, but he and Shapovalov (a career-high No. 130) both have points to defend from last year’s Rogers Cup and both players need to reach Sunday’s final to move up in the rankings.

Shapovalov’s match was delayed because Katherine Sebov of Toronto, the last Canadian in the $60,000 ITF women’s event, needed three hours and 15 minutes to upset eighth-seeded Mayo Hibi of Japan 6-7, 6-4, 7-6. Sebov won the deciding tiebreaker 7-1. She will meet Jessika Ponchet of France in one semifinal Saturday. The other semifinal matches Cristiana Ferrando of Italy against second-seeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

phickey@postmedia.com

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