Like many tournaments recently, the Sovran Bank Classic was the site of a Canadian invasion. Four Canadians were direct entrants into the singles draw, including Grant Connell, who yesterday teamed with Glenn Michibata to win their second doubles title this year, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, over Jorge Lozano-Todd Witsken.
Connell and Michibata are the veterans of Canada's Davis Cup team, which will attempt to qualify for the World Group for the first time when it hosts Holland in September.
"We've always been a solid team but we could never beat the top teams," said Michibata, 28, of his partnership with Connell, which this year has produced victories over Rick Leach-Jim Pugh and Pieter Aldrich-Danie Visser, the world's top teams.
Connell-Michibata, seeded second and ranked fourth, won in Seoul in April and was runner-up at the Australian Open in January.
"We've always had a complex about playing foreign players," Michibata said of he and Davis Cup teammates Connell, Martin Laurendeau, Andrew Sznajder and Martin Wostenholme. All but Michibata competed in singles here. "We're definitely on the upswing. We've now got six or seven players capable of playing at the international level." Seeing Is Believing
It's not a tournament record, but the Sovran drew 81,227, easily exceeding last year's 65,689. For Thursday's evening session, an overflow crowd of about 8,500 saw John McEnroe lose to Derrick Rostagno.