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***
The top two seeds in each of the boys’ and girls’ under-16 nationals qualified for the quarter-finals with convincing victories on Tuesday at the Club de Tennis Ille des Soeurs in Verdun, QC. Top boys’ seed Braydon Schnur of Ontario blasted Ontario’s Christopher Fletcher 6-2, 6-1 while second-seed Martin Beran of Ontario defeated Josh Lehr of Newfoundland and Labrador by an identical 6-2, 6-1 scoreline.
Schnur takes on eighth-seeded MacKenzie Stearns of Quebec in the quarter-finals on Wednesday while Beran will battle seventh-seed Alejandro Tabilo of Ontario. Stearns defeated Alberta’s Jimmy Le 6-2, 6-4 in the round of 16 on Tuesday while Tabilo beat Quebec’s Alexix Gervais 6-1, 6-2. Fourth-seed Robert Shulman of Ontario defeated Quebec’s Graham Ball 6-1, 6-3 in Tuesday’s round of 16 and will face fifth-seed Filip Obucina of Quebec, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Tim Portnov of B.C., in Wednesday’s quarters. The final quarter in the boys’ draw pits unseeded Jesse Flores of Ontario against Iancu-Iustinian Ghinda of Quebec. Flores defeated Alberta’s Alexander Berdnikoff 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday while Ghinda took out 10th seed Antoine Mailloux of Quebec.
On the girls’ side, top-seed Evangeline Repic of Ontario thumped Maja Vujic of Ontario 6-2, 6-3 in Tuesday’s round of 16 and will face unseeded Hannah Atkinson of Ontario in Wednesday’s quarters. Atkinson edged Alberta’s Jena Cheng, the seventh-seed 7-4,(4), 7-6(5) on Tuesday.
Second girls’ seed Erin Routliffe of Ontario laid a double-bagel on Quebec’s Chanel Bell on Tuesday. Routliffe faces B.C.’s Tracy Dong on Wednesday. Dong defeated Alberta’s Demi Henschel 6-2, 6-2 on Tuesday. Third-seed Aissa Muamba of Quebec defeated Quebec’s Charlotte Robillard-Millette 6-1, 6-1 on Tuesday and faces fifth-seed Louise Kwong of Ontario, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Alberta’s Mikaela Bennett on Tuesday, in another Wednesday quarter-final.
The final quarter-final on the girls’ side pits fourth-seed Gloria Liang of Ontario against ninth-seeded Ontarian Joulia Likhanskaia. Liange defeated Patricia Muamba of Quebec 6-3, 6-0 on Tuesday while Likhanskaia bested Maria Patrascu of Ontario 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles action began on Tuesday and the top-seeded boys’ pair of Braydeb Schnur and Robert Shulman of Ontario advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Laurent Mailloux and Joe Zeng of Quebec.
Second-seeds MacKenzie Stearns of Quebec and Akhil Mehta of Alberta blanked Mido Assran of Saskatchewan and PEI’s Mark Wiebe 6-0, 6-0. Third-seeds Martin Beran and Daniel Hoang of Ontario defeated Saskatchewan’s Quin Pon and Matthew Scott 6-1, 6-0, fourth-seeds Alexis Gervais and Antoine Mailloux of Quebec got past Josh Lehr and Ian Connors of Newfoundland and Labrador 6-1, 6-2, fifth-seeds Filip Obucina and Penfield Binet of Ontario defeated Tim Portnov of B.C. and Christopher Fletcher of Ontario 6-0, 6-2, sixth-seeds Iancu-Iustinian Ghinda of Quebec and Alejandro Tabilo of Ontario defeated Alberta’s Alex Berdnikoff and Jimmy Le 4-6, 6-4, 10-6. Other matches had unseeded Olivier Gingras and Justin Ghavami of Quebec edge the unseeded Ontario pair of Andres Olave and Daniel Tsimerman 6-4, 1-6, 10-8 while unseeded Albertans Vuk Radovic and Harrison Scott defeated the B.C. pair of Tejas Phaterpekar and Jeffrey Ho 6-3, 6-3.
In girls’ doubles first-round action unseeded Claudine Maheu and Lissa Pacheco-Brousseau of Quebec defeated Mackenzie Campbell of B.C. and Maja Vujic of Ontario 6-3, 6-3, Lindsay Hunter and Ivana Erdevicki of B.C. beat Anne-Sophie Courteau of Quebec and Lydia Rowe of Newfoundland and Labrador 6-3, 6-3, Eveline Lepinay and Charlotte Robillard-Millette defeated fellow Quebeckers Benedicte Martin and Eva Bachini 6-2, 6-2 while Quebec’s Laurence Guevremont and Alexandra Axenova beat Ontario’s Emily Bradshaw and Laura Macmullin 6-2, 7-5.