***Miron Mann, Tom Blazejewski and Ben Armstrong led the U14 Team Ontario to the U14 National Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec last week. Team Ontario won the Team Cup for the province with the highest total of points. Ontario had a Champion, Finalist and 4 out of the top 5 in Girls Singles. On the boys’ side, Ontario also had 4 out of the top 5 finishers. ONcourt interviewed some of the players about their recent experience at the Nationals.***
ONcourt: Was this your first Nationals?
Maria Tanasescu: No, I played U12 Indoors and Outdoors Nationals in 2012. It was my first U14.
Anjana Suresh: No, this is my 5th Nationals and my 3rd U14 Nationals.
Vicky DiMuzio: No, I’ve played more than 8 Nationals for the past 4 years.
Anna Philp: No, this was my 3rd Canadian Nationals, but I have also played 2 Nationals in England before moving here.
Nicole Iourkevitch: Yes, but now I’m on my way to my second Nationals (U16’s).
Ivan Radomirovic: Yes.
ONcourt: Did you have a good experience?
Maria Tanasescu: Yes, for me it was a very good learning experience, and being with the older girls helped me learn how to be a better player.
Anjana Suresh: Yes, I had a very good experience. I got to play lots of good matches and learned a lot.
Vicky DiMuzio: Yes, it was a good experience. I had lots of good matches.
Anna Philp: Yes, I got to see the top Canadian girls play, played some of them and had some great, tough matches.
Nicole Iourkevitch: Yes, it was tons of fun, and I gained a lot of experience through the great number of matches that I played.
Ivan Radomirovich: Yes it was a great experience. I had a lot of up and downs but I tried my hardest.
ONcourt: How were your results?
Maria Tanasescu: I got 12th, but that’s ok. I felt like I gave in all my effort and was really tired after my last match.
Anjana Suresh: I came 5th place. I lost to Katherine [U14 Nationals Champion] in the quarterfinals and then won the consolation.
Vicky DiMuzio: I came 2nd after losing to Katherine in the finals.
Anna Philp: I won flight 3 putting me in 17th place which is the best result I’ve ever had at Canadian Nationals.
Nicole Iourkevitch: I came into the finals main draw of the 2nd flight, putting me in 10th place, which I find pretty good for my first Nationals.
Ivan Radomirovich: I lost to the seed in my box, and then I lost in the second flight. I finished 15th.
ONcourt: How do you think that you played overall?
Maria Tanasescu: I played with a lot of variety, and after every match I could feel that the girls didn’t like all that change of rhythm. It was always long rallies or deuces. It was very annoying to play against me but I felt neutral to whether I would win or lose.
Anjana Suresh: I played well in my box, but I could’ve played better in my flight. The last couple of matches, it took me a while to get into the match which led to me losing the first sets in them.
Vicky DiMuzio: I played pretty well. Could’ve been better. The girls in my box hardly gave me any rhythm.
Anna Philp: I feel I played pretty well. I had some really good matches when I was pumped, played really well and won. I also lost some matches and felt I could have won or gotten a better score. Overall, I think I played quite well.
Nicole Iourkevitch: I think I played well throughout the course of the week. I fought hard, tried my best and made it through long and hard matches. Thanks to all those matches and the coach(s) accompanying me, I know what I need to work on, and I’m going to come home proud of my results and aware of what I should improve for my next matches, and hopefully, next Nationals.
Ivan Radomirovich: I played well in my group, but in the second flight I could have been smarter with my tactics heading into the matches. In the second flight, I either tried to be too aggressive or too passive. I have to find more of a balance.
ONcourt: Can you share any special moments?
Maria Tanasescu: There weren’t really any special moments for me, except meeting new people. I made a lot of new friends.
Anjana Suresh: I will never forget our last evening when we went to the village and went luging. It was my first time, so it was lots of fun.
Vicky DiMuzio: A special moment for me was making it to the finals and going to the village with the girls on the last day. I also won the Sportsmanship Award, which feels very nice too.
Anna Philp: We didn’t have much time to do anything away from the courts or the hotel. I had fun meeting new people from other provinces and messing around with the other girls during breaks between the matches and rain delays. On the last night, however, we went to the village where we went luging and I had my first beavertail.
Nicole Iourkevitch: There wasn’t anything too special until the last day where the girls and I went to the village, where we rode the luge and gained a lot of great memories.
Ivan Radomirovich: I had a great experience and I learned a lot from this tournament. Also I had fun with the team and met new players from other provinces.
ONcourt: Anything else that you want to tell us about the tournament or other memories from Mont-Tremblant?
Maria Tanasescu: It was all pretty straightforward: wake up, eat, play tennis, eat, go to sleep. I did enjoy some fantastic fondue one night! Mmm… Not much time for anything else.
Anjana Suresh: It was pretty much like what Maria said, but I did get to try a beavertail for the first time, and it was fantastic!
Vicky DiMuzio: Basically, what Maria said: eat, sleep, wake up, play tennis. But some moments were still fun.
Anna Philp: We didn’t get to do much other than tennis, but driving around between the hotel and the courts you could see how beautiful the area was. There were so many animals, like deer. Just walking around it was amazing. The last night was different though, we went to the village and had lots of fun.
Nicole Iourkevitch: Just like Maria said, it was all straightforward and strictly tennis, but still we had moments where we had a lot of fun.
Ivan Radomirovich: No, not really, it was more about the matches and when I should sleep, eat and relax.