With his two victories on the day, Philip Bester is the lone Canadian still standing in singles at the men’s and women’s joint event. First, he came back from a set down to oust Australian Greg Jones 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round before upsetting No. 3 seed Dimitar Kutrovsky of Bulgaria 7-6(3), 6-4 in the quarter-finals.
In the semifinals, 25-year-old Bester will challenge another Aussie, Blake Mott, in what will be their first meeting. Since starting his comeback from hip surgery in June, Bester has now made two semifinals in seven events and will be aiming to advance into his first final.
The second men’s semifinal will pit two 20-year-old seeded players opposite each other. Top-seeded Australian Jordan Thompson, currently ranked world No. 279, will face No. 4 seed Liam Broady of Great Britain, the world’s No. 346-ranked competitor. Neither athlete has dropped a set through three matches in Winnipeg so far.
On the women’s side, Canadians Charlotte Robillard-Millette and Carol Zhao both picked up one victory on Friday to make the quarter-finals before falling in their next matches.
Robillard-Millette, who just last week won her second U18 national title of the year, captured the biggest pro-level win of her young career in the second round by defeating No. 4 seed Tori Kinard of the United States 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. With the win, the 15-year-old advanced into her first professional quarter-final.
A few hours later though, she fell to American Nadja Gilchrist 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a hard-fought duel.
The $25K tournament’s No. 3 seed, Zhao easily handled American Parris Todd 6-0, 7-5 in the second round but was eliminated in the quarters by Great Britain’s Isabelle Wallace 6-3, 7-5.
The semifinals will see Gilchrist take on No. 1 seed Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria and Wallace challenge No. 2 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan.
Action starts at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club on Saturday at 10 a.m. local time/11 a.m. ET. Admission is free for all fans.