Written by: Christopher Simnett
***Chris grew up playing tennis in B.C. and was ranked as high as No. 2 provincially in the U12 and U16 divisions. He played in two junior national championships in the 80s. Now 39 years old, he is the “community champion” for the Tennis Canada Building Tennis Communities strategy in Airdrie, AB, where he lives with his wife and eight-year-old son. Chris spent 15 years as a journalist writing about sports for newspapers in B.C. and Alberta. He now works in public relations in Calgary. To learn more about Chris and his blog, please visit www.alltennis.ca***
Alberta finished fifth in the team event at both the Under-12 and Under-16 nationals on the weekend.
The Alberta team of Kirsten Prelle, Tereza Simonova, Ashleigh Jacobs, Maya Dukaric, Maximillian Szczypien, Danny Wu, Ryan Loke and Matush Polakovic defeated B.C. in the fifth-sixth playoff in the U12 event at the Tennis Academy in Calgary.
Earlier in the event, Alberta fell 8-0 to eventual champions Ontario Red, fell 6-4 to Quebec white and defeated Team Marino, a squad featuring Albertans Daniel Wolfman, Andres Barrero, Jose Lopez-Peterson, Kiko Cunningham and Marina Culo, along with Sash Stolba of B.C., 6.5 to 2.5.
The U12 team event featured both boys’ and girls’ doubles and mixed doubles matches.
The Ontario Red team of Denis Shapovalov, Jack Mingjie Lin, Alexandar Petrovic, Tyler O’Meara, Katherine Sebov, Natasha Irani, Vanessa Wong and Amy Wagowsky won every match in Round-Robin Pool A, collecting 24 out of a possible 24 points against Alberta, Quebec White and Team Marino, and defeated Quebec Red in the first place playoff. Quebec White were second in Pool A with 12.5 points, Alberta finished third with 10.5 points and Team Marino was fourth with 4.5 points.
In Pool B, Quebec Red won with 20.5 points. Ontario White was second with 17 points, B.C. was third with 13 points and Team Raonic, a team made up of Hielke Moore, Cedric Rupa, Nicholas Bendzsa and Annika Wiebe of the Atlantic Tennis Alliance, as well as Andreaa Craciun of B.C. and Anca Craciun of Ontario, finished fourth with 0.5 points.
In the U16 team event, held at the Club de Tennis, Ille Des Soeurs in Verdun, Quebec, Alberta defeated Atlantic 4-1 to claim fifth-place.
Ontario White won gold with a 3-1 win over Ontario Red while Quebec White defeated Quebec Red for third-place by the same 3-1 score. B.C. defeated Prairie 4-1 to take seventh-place in the eight-team event.
In the round-robin, Alberta, featuring Akhil Mehta, Jimmy Le, Vuk Radovic, Alex Berdnikoff, Harrison Scott, Jena Cheng, Mikeala Bennent, Kelsi Olliphant, Demi Henschel and Ally Miller, finished third in their pool with 14.5 points. Ontario Red were first with 26.5 points, Quebec White finished second on 16 points and Prairie was fourth with 8.5 points.
Ontario White won the other pool with 24 points while Quebec Red was second with 18, Atlantic finished third with 13 points and B.C. brought up the rear with 10 points.
The U16 team event featured a boys’ and girls’ singles match, boys’ and girls’ doubles and a mixed doubles match.
Click Here for full results and scores for both events.