After missing a year for court renovations, the Red Deer Tennis Club once again hosted this year’s MNP Junior Outdoor Provincials, continuing the twenty-plus year tradition.
(Photo above: Red Deer’s Isaac Aspinall had a breakthrough tournament. As an unseeded player, he worked his way up to fourth in U14 Boys Singles. Photo by the Red Deer Advocate).
Tournament Director Lyle Jacobson gave an overview of the 8-day tournament as enjoyed by 114 players, their families and coaches.
“Day 1 started off at 8 a.m., cloudy and a bit cool but no delays. Days 2 and 3 saw some morning rain but we didn’t fall more than an hour behind. Most of the days began with an hour warm up from 7-8 a.m. and the days wrapped up around 3 p.m. No incidents or controversies, smooth sailing. Several members of the Red Deer Tennis Club watched matches throughout the tournament and were left speechless at the talent of the Alberta Junior tennis players.”
I feel it was a big success and very convenient for both the parents and the participants. Warm-up courts (indoor) were made available while the outdoor courts were being used. On-site stringing was available. The parents were able to get hotel rooms so close to the Club that they could walk back and forth between matches. The kids made use of the public swimming pool next to the Tennis Club. Many of the parents and children enjoyed the adjacent park to throw a football or frisbee or just stretch out on the lawn.”
U12 Boys Singles and Doubles. Adam Faragcao repeated his March indoor provincial result earning first place in a close match against second place Kai Baerg (7-6, 7-5). Placing 3rd and 4th were James Holt and Aarav Ahuja, making it a repeat top four from the Indoor Provincials played in March. The U12 doubles was won by Baerg/Holt over Braydon Bouliane/Adam Faragcao.
U12 Girls Singles and Doubles. Paulina Grant (2nd seed) took first place in the girls U12 singles. Second place went to Isabelle Hobart (seeded 4th), followed by Sara Kostic in third (first seed) and Anya Tkachuk in fourth (3rd seed). The top two doubles teams were Tkachuk/Tuffs and Kostic/Stanton.
(Photo above: Paulina Grant, on the right, placed first and Isabelle Hobart, left, placed second in U12 Girls).
U14 Boys Singles and Doubles. Tyler Waddock took two first place finishes, singles and doubles with partner Arshjot Singh Bhatti (Bhatti finished 3rd in singles). Chetanna Amadike was second in singles and also in doubles with Mac Kim. Unseeded Red Deer native Isaac Aspinall had a breakthrough tournament. He finished a solid fourth in singles, defeating fourth seed Ma Kim (4-6, 6-3, 7-5) in the only three-set match on the final day of the tournament. (U14s and U18s played on the final day).
U14 Girls Singles and Doubles. Alexia Jacobs (first seed) was also a double winner finishing first in both U14 singles and doubles with partner Kaitlyn Challis. Aurora Pedwell (second seed) was second in singles and also in doubles with partner Emily Niers. Third and fourth place singles went to Emily Niers and Gianna Oboniye (5th and 4th seed).
U16 Boys Singles and Doubles. Joshua Oboniye (2nd seed) took first place in both the singles and doubles events, partnering with brother Ethan (1st seed) in doubles and narrowly defeating Ethan in the singles event. The battle for first place between the two brothers was an exciting back-and-forth three-set match (6-3, 6-7, 6-4). The singles third and fourth place finishes went to Tyler Waddock and Liam Spiers (3rd and 4th seeds).
U16 Girls Singles and Doubles. Alexandra Jewitt (2nd seed) earned first place in singles and also in doubles with partner Hana Gamracy. Second and third in singles went to U14 competitors Aurora Pedwell and Alexia Jacobs, while 4th place went to Hana Gamracy (1st seed).
U18 Boys Singles and Doubles. Unseeded Liam Spiers and Goran Vukovic took first and second in U18 singles, while Tyler Sinclair (2nd seed) and Nicholas Chow (1st seed) were 3rd and 4th. In doubles, Ethan Oboniye/Michael Robinson defeated Brandon Lin/Goran Vukovic for first and second place spots.
U18 Girls Singles and Doubles. Karin Hamilton (2nd seed) won U18 singles, with Hana Gamracy (1st seed), Alexandra Jewitt (3rd seed), and Emma Rutherford (4th seed) taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th. In doubles, Gamracy/Jewitt paired up to take first place over Granson/Rutherford.
“The U12 and U14 events followed the trend of seeding for the most part. In the U16 boys final, Joshua Oboniye beat his older brother Ethan in 3 sets for the first time at a provincial tournament. Aurora Pedwell upset the 1st seed in U16 semis earning her spot at Nationals. In U18 Boys, both Liam Spiers and Goran Vukovic took out seeded players to ensure an unseeded final, which Liam eventually won. Karin Hamilton upset Hana Gamracy to win the U18 Girls Final.”
Alberta junior players who are highly ranked nationally receive a wildcard to the nationals. As such, they were not required to participate in the provincial tournament in Red Deer.
Our wildcard national competitors are:
Gianna Oboniye and Nawal Youssef, U12.
Mia Kupres and Martyna Ostrzygalo, U14.
Joshua Oboniye, U14.
Cleeve Harper, U18.
U12 Boys. Adam Faragcao, Kai Baerg, James Holt, Aarav Ahuja.
U12 Girls. Nawal Youssef, Gianna Oboniye, Paulina Grant, Sara Kostic.
Nationals for U12 goes from August 21 to August 27 in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
U14 Boys. Joshua Oboniye, Tyler Waddock, Chetanna Amadike, Arshjot Bhatti.
U14 Girls. Mia Kupres, Martyna Ostrzygalo, Hailey Murphy, Alexia Jacobs.
Nationals for U14 goes from August 27 to Sept 2 in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
U16 Boys. Ethan Oboniye, Liam Spiers, Ryan Murphy, Goran Vukovic.
U16 Girls. Alexandra Jewitt, Aurora Pedwell, Martyna Ostrzygalo.
Nationals for U16 goes from August 18 to 23rd in Gatineau, Quebec.
U18 Boys. Cleeve Harper, Ethan Oboniye, Nicholas Chow, Tyler Sinclair.
U18 Girls. Hana Gamracy, Alexandra Jewitt, Jessica Kreutz, Karin Hamilton.
Nationals for U18 goes from August 9th to 16th in Mississauga, Ontario.
Derek van den Berg (Tennis Alberta Competitions Coordinator) commented on what we can expect from the Alberta team at Nationals:
“I think our results in U12 girls will be strong as we have two in the top twelve nationally. Gianna was 5th at U12 Indoor Nationals, and Nawal was 3rd. For U14, again our girls will be strong, coming off a 1st and 2nd place finish at Indoor Nationals. Mia was 1st, Martyna 2nd. Also, Cleeve Harper will have a good chance after winning the Saville ITF event in July. He is ranked in the top 8 nationally in U18 boys.”
Good luck to all of the amazing Alberta juniors at the 2018 Junior Outdoor Nationals! Go Alberta!
Quote of the day: “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.” Arthur Ashe