Christopher Simnett: Top Boys’ Seeds March on at U12 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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The top four seeds in the boys’ division will face off in the semifinals of the Under-12 nationals at Calgary’s Tennis Academy on Thursday. Top-seed Alexis Galarneau of Quebec will take on fourth-seed Jack Mingjie Lin of Ontario in one semi while second-seed Denis Shapalov of Ontario faces third-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other.

Galarneau defeated Dan Martin of Quebec 6-1, 6-0 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday while Lin took out Ontario’s Ivan Mitric 6-0, 6-2. Auger-Aliassime defeated Ontario’s Aleksandar Petrovic of Ontario 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Shapalove defeated B.C.s Larry Zhao 6-2, 6-4.

Tyler O’Meara of Ontario defeated Kamen Damov of Ontario 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals of the second flight. O’Meara will play Quebec’s Gabriel Champoux, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over B.C.’s Kiran Phatepekar on Wednesday. The other Flight 2 semifinal sees B.C.’s Jack Davis face Quebec’s Nicaise Muamba. Davis defeated Sash Stolba of B.C. 6-3, 6-2 while Muamba beat Ontario’s Simon Stoula 6-2, 6-0 on Wednesday.

The Flight 3 semifinals see Quebec’s Nazar Achour face Alberta’s Danny Wu while Ontario’s Loic Rahier will face Quebec’s Michael Anthony Tummillo. Achour defeated Alberta’s Ryan Loke 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday, Wu defeated Alberta’s Maximillian Szczypien 6-3, 6-3, Rahier edged Alberta’s Daniel Wolfman 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 and Tummillo defeated B.C.s Isaac Davies 6-2, 6-1.

The Flight 4 semis pit Albertans Andres Barerro and Matush Polakovic against each other while Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nicholas Bendzsa will face Ontario’s Daniel Fainblum.

Barrero received a bye on Wednesday while Polakovic defeated New Brunswick’s Cedric Rupa 6-3, 7-5. Bendza defeated Alberta’s Jose Lopez Peterson and Fainblum defeated New Brunswick’s Hielke Moore 6-2, 6-1.

In girls’ action, sixth-seed Sofija Zecevic of Ontario defeated top-seed Katherine Sebov of Ontario 6-4, 7-5 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Zecevic will play fifth-seed Amy Wagowsky in Thursday’s semis. Wagowsky defeated third-seed Kirsten Prelle of Alberta 6-1, 6-2 in Wednesday’s quarters. Vanessa Wong of Ontario defeated Ontario’s Darya Maltseva 6-4, 6-0 on Wednesday to set up a semifinal date with second-seed Natasha Irani of Ontario. Irani defeated B.C.s Nina Erdevicki on Wednesday.

In Flight 2, Ines Milosevic of Ontario defeated Anca Craciun of Ontario 7-6(5), 6-3 while Anne-Sophie Hetu beat B.C.’s Mikayla Fan 6-0, 6-0 on Wednesday. Camille Godin of Quebec defeated B.C.’s Alex Walker 6-0, 6-0 and Ontario’s Brindtha Ramasamy defeated Quebec’s Tamara Racine-Beauchamp 7-6(3), 6-3. The Flight 2 semis see Milosevic play Hetu and Godin take on Ramasamy Thursday.

The Flight 3 semis have Alberta’s Ashleigh Jacobs taking on Quebec’s Mia Edger-Lacoursiere and Quebec’s Simona Agapi battling Quebec’s Emilie Corbett.

Jacobs defeated Quebec’s Betina Stanescu 5-7, 7-5, 6-1, Edger-Lacoursiere beat B.C.’s Andreea Craciun 6-3, 6-3, Agapi dumped PEI’s Annika Wiebe 6-0, 6-0 and Corbett defeated Quebec’s Noemie Lapointe 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

In Flight 4, Jessie Gong of B.C. will play Alberta’s Maya Dukaric in one semi while Albertans Tereza Simonova and Kiko Cunningham will battle in the other. Dukaric defeated Alberta’s Marina Culo 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 while Simonova, Cunningham and Gong received byes.

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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