Monday, October 14, 2013

Whoa, Canada — unseeded Polansky wins Tiburon title

   What in the name of Wayne Gretzky is going on in Canada?
   Almost synonymous with hockey, the cold-weather nation suddenly is becoming a power in tennis, of all sports. Canada is known for slap shots, not passing shots.
   Led by rising stars Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, though, Canada reached the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time this year. Raonic, 22, of Thornhill in the Toronto area and Pospisil, a 23-year-old native of Vernon, British Columbia, have climbed to No. 11 and No. 40 in the world, respectively.
   In men's doubles, 41-year-old Toronto product Daniel Nestor has won eight Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.
   Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, a Montreal suburb, last year became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam title when she took the girls singles crown at Wimbledon. The next day, Filip Peliwo of Vancouver, British Columbia, became the second by capturing the boys singles title at the All England Club.
   Bouchard, the highest-ranked teenager in the world at No. 32, played in her first WTA final on Sunday. The 19-year-old fell to 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in Osaka, Japan.
   And Peter Polansky of Thornhill won his first career Challenger singles title Sunday. The unseeded Polansky, 25, surprised third-seeded Matthew Ebden of Australia 7-5, 6-3 in the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger at the Tiburon Peninsula Club.
   It doesn't end with tennis, either. Anthony Bennett of Toronto and UNLV was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in this year's NBA draft, and Andrew Wiggins of Thornhill -- is this suddenly the sports capital of the world? -- and Kansas likely will be the top pick next year. Even Justin Bieber is Canadian.
   Polansky, who also downed second-seeded Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla., in the Tiburon semifinals, did not lose a set in five matches in the tournament. He fell in the second round of the Napa and Sacramento Challengers in the previous two weeks.
   By winning the Tiburon title, the 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Polansky jumped 54 places to No. 168. He reached his career high of No. 149 in September last year.
   Ebden, 25, lost in a Northern California Challenger for the second time in three weeks. The former top-70 player fell to Donald Young in Napa after leading by a set and a service break.
   In an all-American doubles final in Tiburon, third-seeded Austin Krajicek and Rhyne Williams topped second-seeded Bradley Klahn and Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-1. Klahn played 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Stanford, where he starred from 2009 to 2012.
   Following are the complete Tiburon Challenger singles and doubles draws:

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