Tennis

Canadian Pospisil advances at U.S. Open

Canadian Vasek Pospisil has booked a spot in the second round of the U.S. Open.

Vasek Pospisil is starting to feel like he belongs among the world's top tennis players.

The native of Vernon, B.C., won the first Grand Slam match of his career Wednesday by crushing Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the second round of the U.S. Open.

Pospisil getting noticed

Few Canadians, if any, have ever heard the name Vasek Pospisil prior to the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal three weeks ago.

But the life of the 21-year-old from Vernon, B.C., changed significantly after a first-round upset win over No. 22 Juan Ignacio of Argentina.

Pospisil’s first victory in his first-career singles match in a main draw received a thunderous ovation from the Montreal crowd.

To his delight, Pospisil would face the great Roger Federer — his idol — in the second round.

While he lost in straight sets (7-5, 6-3), the young Canadian's performance was impressive enough to garner praise from the Swiss legend.

"He certainly showed his potential…he was believing in himself. This is a very important factor in tennis, Federer told reporters after the match."

"To hear that from Roger, for me it's incredible," the awestruck Pospisil responded. "He's been my favourite player for eight years, so it's someone I watched on television every week, so yeah, it's nice to hear that."

And with his first career Grand Slam victory — a straight sets blow out of Czech Lukas Rosol on Wednesday — under his belt, a bigger audience has now witnessed the Canadian with a promising future.

Pospisil needed just 82 minutes to dispatch the Czech after converting on seven of 13 break point chances.

"This is my second slam, so I'm still new to the scene," he said. "It takes a little bit of getting comfortable with these guys.

"In the past maybe it wasn't like that for me. But that is changing fast. I feel like I belong out there."

He'll face No. 25 seed Feliciano Lopez in the second round. The Spaniard was a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in July.

"He will be tough, they're all tough at this level," said Pospisil, who is ranked 143rd in the world. "But I've been playing well for the last couple of months so I'm looking forward to it. I'm confident."

The 21-year-old is coming off a win over Argentine Juan Chela at the Rogers Cup earlier this month. He exited the Montreal tournament with a second-round loss to Roger Federer.

Against Rosol on Wednesday, Popisil piled on 13 aces and 13 winners. The Canadian also fended off six break points.

"It was tight at the start but I returned well," he said. "That might have gotten to him — he saw a lot of his serves coming back. I was serving well and putting more pressure on him and trying to break him down.

"I was really feeling my returns today. When I can serve and return well, I can really pressure opponents."

Pospisil earned his way into the U.S. Open men's draw by winning all three of his qualifying matches.

He's the lone Canadian singles player left in the tournament.