Pospisil Advances To Semis At Odlum Brown VanOpen

Vasek Pospisil (photo: Bo Mon Kwan)


After cloud bursts of showers in West Vancouver during Friday’s play at the Odlum Brown VanOpen caused a total delay of more than 90 minutes, Vasek Pospisil of Canada earned a spot in the semi-finals with a late-night win in straight sets over former World No. 6 Gilles Simon from France.

Pospisil, 32, dominated in the first set, taking it 6-1, but Simon pushed the second set to 5-5 before dropping the last two games of the match, which took just over two hours to play and ended just 15 minutes before midnight local time.

For the hometown favourite, Pospisil, who resides in Vancouver, admitted he didn’t feel as gassed as he did in his second-round match on Wednesday against Australian Jordan Thompson.

“I’m feeling a lot better today than the other day, that’s for sure. It’s still really physical, (the temperature) was cool, but obviously fielding all the points and playing so many balls, it’s really hard work out here and I’m sweating like an animal,” explained the 2013 Odlum Brown VanOpen champion. “I’m just going to try and rest and get ready for (the semifinal) tomorrow.” 

Pospisil faces another French player on Saturday at the ATP Challenger Tour 125 hard-court event, as he takes on World No. 64 Arthur Rinderknech, 27, in the first meeting between the two. Rinderknech, who’s the third seed, booked his spot in the semis by knocking off defending Odlum Brown VanOpen champion Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 7-6(3), 6-2 in one hour and 31 minutes.

The other semifinal sees fifth seed Constant Lestienne of France face countryman Ugo Humbert. Lestienne grabbed a spot in the stage of the last four with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win against former World No. 7 Fernando Verdasco of Spain in two hours and 18 minutes.

Humbert earned his place by knocking off fourth seed and wild card Mikael Ymer from Sweden 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. The encounter lasted two hours and seven minutes.