Christopher Simnett: Third-seed Mehta Toppled at U16 nationals

Written by: Christopher Simnett

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***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***

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Top-seed Brayden Schnur of Ontario rolled through his first-round match at the boys’ Under-16 nationals in Verdun, QC on Monday. Schnur defeated fellow Ontarian Sam Philip 6-1, 6-0 his opening match at the Tennis de I’lle des Soeurs club.

Second-seed Martin Beran, also of Ontario, defeated another Ontarian, Zian Zhuo (Joe) Zeng in his first round match. Zeng earlier edged Ontario’s Andres Olave 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.

Third-seed Akhil Mehta of Edmonton was the highest seed to fall on the first day, losing 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4 to Jesse Flores of Ontario.

Fourth-seed Robert Shulman of Ontario defeated Penfield Binet 6-3, 6-2 on Monday. Earlier, Binet defeated Alberta’s Vuk Radovic 6-3, 7-6(1) in the first-round. Fifth-seed Filip Obucina of Quebec defeated Benjamin Dubuc of Quebec 6-1, 6-1 after Dubuc defeated Ontario’s Daniel Hoang 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 in the first-round.

Sixth-seed David Volfson of Ontario also fell on the first day, losing 7-6(6), ret. to Quebec’s Iancu-Iustinian Ghinda. Ghinda defeated Patrick Hall of B.C. 6-4, 6-4 in the first round earlier in the day. Seventh-seed Alejandro Tabilo of Ontario defeated B.C.’s Alexander Day 6-2, 6-0 in his first match after Day edged Quebec’s Justin Ghavami 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in the first-round.

Eighth-seed MacKenzie Stearns of Quebec blanked Mido Assran of Saskatoon 6-0, 6-0 in the first round while ninth-seed Tim Portnov of B.C. defeated B.C.’s Tejas Phaterpekar 6-4, 6-3 in another first-round match. Antoine Mailloux of Quebec, the 10th seed, won his first-round match 6-1, 6-1 over Regina’s Quin Pon.

Other action in the boys’ division on Monday saw Alberta’s Harrison Scott defeated Mark Wiebe of PEI 6-1, 6-0. Scott fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to Ontario’s Christopher Fletcher in the second-round, however.

Alberta’s Jimmy Le defeated Mikael Lussier of Quebec 6-2, 6-2 in his first-round and then took out Ontario’s Daniel Tsimerman 6-1, 6-2 in the second-round. Another Albertan, Alexander Berdnikoff, defeated Phillippe Courteau of Quebec 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in his first-round match and then edged B.C.’s Jeffrey Ho 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 in the second-round.

Graham Ball of Quebec defeated fellow Quebecker Olivier Gingras 6-2, 7-5 while Alexis Gervais of Quebec beat Newfoundland and Labrador’s Ian Connors. Josh Lehr of Newfoundland and Labrador defeated Matthew Scott of Saskatchewan 6-0, 6-0.

Tuesday’s round of 16 matches pit Schnur against Fletcher, Le against Stearns, Flores vs. Berdnikoff, Mailloux against Ghinda, Obucina against Portnov, Ball against Shulman, Tabilo against Gervais and Lehr vs. Beran.

Click here for draws.

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

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