Expectations High for Canadians at Gatineau National Bank Futures



    Montreal native Chvojka set to defend title

    GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The players' list for the 2009
edition of the Gatineau National Bank Futures was unveiled on Wednesday during
a press conference at the Sporthèque in Hull. The tournament, which is
sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and offers US$10,000
in total prize money, will be held from February 28 to March 8.
    For the third consecutive year, tennis fans in and around the nation's
capital will witness the immense talent of some of the sport's rising stars.
Leading the way is top-seeded Canadian and defending champion Erik Chvojka
(Montréal), ranked No. 407 on the South African Airways ATP rankings. In
addition to his victory in Gatineau last year, Chvojka was also crowned
champion at a Futures event in Germany last spring and he was a semifinalist
at the US$35,000 Moncton Challenger in New Brunswick. Vincent Millot of France
will be the tournament's second seed. Ranked No. 453 in the world, Millot is
no stranger to the local tennis scene. In 2008, the 22-year old competed in
six tournaments on Canadian soil, reaching the Round of 16 in Moncton and at
the US$35,000 Rimouski National Bank Challenger in November. Rounding out the
Top three is Slovakia's Andrej Martin, ranked No. 497. The 19-year old reached
two singles finals on the ITF Futures Circuit in 2008 and he took home the
doubles crown at the Austria F1 Futures event in January.
    Meanwhile, Milan Pokrajac (Mississauga, Ontario) and Milos Raonic
(Thornhill, Ontario) will join their compatriot Chvojka in the main draw.
Pokrajac, ranked No. 581, enjoyed a successful run on the National Bank
Circuit in 2008, reaching the semifinals in Gatineau and Montreal. Raonic, a
member of Tennis Canada's National Training Centre (NTC) in Montréal, was
given a wildcard into the main draw. The 17-year-old, who reached a
career-best ranking of No. 35 as a junior, broke onto the professional scene
last March after advancing to the final of the Sherbrooke National Bank
Futures. Many of Raonic's fellow National Training Centre participants will
get their first taste of the pro tour in Gatineau by competing in the
qualifying draw.
    "Our National Training Centre athletes are proof of the bright future in
store for Canadian tennis," affirmed Louis Borfiga, Vice-President, High
Performance Athlete Development, Tennis Canada. "It is important for our young
players to gain experience on the professional tour and there is no better
place to start than the National Bank Circuit."
    For more information on the National Bank Circuit, please visit
www.tenniscanada.com




For further information:

For further information: Melissa Boyd, Tennis Canada, Cell.: (514)
242-3707

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NATIONAL BANK FUTURES

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