Christopher Simnett: Abanda Walks into Girls’ U18 National Final Four

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***


Top-seed Francoise Abanda of Quebec had the easiest possible route to the semifinals of the girls’ Under-18 Rogers Jr. Nationals with a walkover win over fifth-seed Evangeline Repic of Ontario on Wednesday.

Abanda will take the extra day of rest into her semifinal with Ontario’s Amy He on Friday at Toronto’s Mayfair Parkway Club. He edged ninth-seed Solomiya Zinko 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2 in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

Second-seed Kimberley-Ann Surin of Quebec defeated Erin Routliffe of Ontario, last week’s Under-16 champion,  6-3, 6-3 in another quarter-final on Wednesday. Surin will play Ontario’s Nikolette Budai in Thursday’s semis after Budai was a a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Quebec’s Catherine Leduc on Wednesday.

In doubles, the top-seeded pair of Evangeline Repic and Erin Routliffe had to pull out of the tournament, so the unseeded Quebec pair of Michelle Dandik and Catherine Parenteau-St-Antoine advanced to the semifinals by walkover. They will play sixth-seeds Catherine Leduc and Laurence Pelchat of Quebec in Thursday’s semis. Leduc and Pelchat defeated third-seeds Gloria Liang and Solomiya Zinko of Ontario 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 on Wednesday.

Thursday’s other semi will see second-seeds Elianne Douglas-Miron and Kimberley-Ann Surin of Quebec take on Nada Marjanovic of Ontario and Aissa Muamba of Quebec.

Douglas-Miron and Surin defeated unseeded Albertans Jena Cheng and Mikaela Bennett 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday while Marjanovic and Muamba beat fifth-seeds Joan Cannon and Amy He of Ontario 6-4, 6-2.

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Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.