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David Baillargeon in action in Toronto

Gatineau PSA Challenger Preview: Progress During Pandemic Helped Baillargeon

The Gatineau PSA Challenger begins on Wednesday at Sportheque in Gatineau, with the domestically-restricted Challenger 5 level men’s tournament running through to Sunday 7 November.

Due to the domestic entry restrictions, only those currently based in Canada have been permitted to enter the tournament, with World No.69 David Baillargeon as the top seed for the event.

Shawn DeLierre will be the No.2 seed, with Nick Sachvie and Cameron Seth as the other members of the top four seeds, while all eight seeds in the draw hail from Canada.

There will be five non-Canadians in the draw, with an Egyptian trio of Mahmoud Abo Iail, Abdul Rahman Elnady and Asser Ibrahim joined by Bermuda’s Taylor Carrick and Japan’s Jason Sano Herring.

Baillargeon will be the top seed for the tournament, and he believes that his game is currently in a very good place going into the event.

“I feel really good about my game at the moment, I’ve been consistently making it to later stages of tournaments lately and I hope to do exactly that in Gatineau,” the Canadian No.1 said.

“I feel like my game progressed a lot during the pandemic which is motivating. I hope to make it into the bigger tournaments soon and be able to test myself against the big boys.”

Last month, Baillargeon claimed the Oxford Properties Canadian Senior Championship title, and in doing so, became his country’s National Champion for the first time in his career.

“Being National Champion was always a goal I had in sight. So many great players are on that trophy, to have my name besides guys like Jonathon Power and Graham Ryding does make me proud,” he said.

“I usually play well at home, I can often times find the extra boost of energy needed in the crowd. I’m sure the Gatineau crowd will be cheering for me and I’m thrilled about that.”

The victory helped him move up inside the top 70 in the World Rankings, and he is aiming to keep moving, despite knowing there will also be pressure on him as the top seed this week.

“Yes being top seed adds a bit of pressure, you’re the one everybody is trying to take down, but the pressure was bigger last week at Nationals being the first seed there also, but I surely want to confirm my win of last week by winning again in Gatineau!”

“I feel like I’ll need to improve my short game and my deception to make it into the top 50.”

The event takes place from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 November at Sportheque in Gatineau, where David Baillargeon is the top seed for the tournament. Follow the PSA Challenger Tour on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates from the event.

First Round Draw: Gatineau PSA Challenger
[1] David Baillargeon (CAN) – [Bye]
[WC] Shady Elkamhawy (CAN) v [9/16] Liam Marrrison (CAN)
[9/16] Salah Eltorgman (CAN) v [WC] Phillipe Shillington (CAN)
[7] Jayden Shortt (CAN) – [Bye]
[6] Cory McCartney (CAN) – [Bye]
[WC] Abbas Nawaz (CAN) v [9/16] Dominic Wren (CAN)
[9/16] Taylor Berrick (BER) v Asser Ibrahim (EGY)
[3] Michael McCue (CAN) – [Bye]
[4] Nick Sachvie (CAN) – [Bye]
[WC] Maxym Leclair (CAN) v [9/16] Jason Sano Herring (JPN)
[9/16] Abdul Rahman Elnady (EGY) v Matthew Henderson (CAN)
[5] Cameron Seth (CAN) – [Bye]
[8] Rafi Khan (PAK) – [Bye]
[WC] Maxime Blouin (CAN) v [9/16] Mahmoud Abo Iail (EGY)
[9/16] Maximilien Godbout (CAN) v [WC] Romain Salmon (CAN)
[2] Shawn DeLierre (CAN) – [Bye]

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