Tennis Alberta made it happen–a high level open women’s tournament in Edmonton, the CAM LLP Edmonton Women’s Open 350.
Promoted as one of the largest prizes in women’s tournaments in Canada, the 28-player draw played out on the May long weekend, a windy one, at the charming Capilano Tennis Club in Edmonton, Alberta.
(Photo above: Louise Kwong, #3 seed from Ontario, helps out at the kids clinic on Saturday morning. Photo: Melissa Penne Photography).
Alberta players fared well against top Canadians. Yes it was windy, but Alberta players were not blown away by their Canadian counterparts.
Former University of Alberta star tennis player Kristina Sanjevic paired up with the #1 seed from Ontario, Erin Routliffe, to win the doubles championship.
As well, two Alberta players worked their way through the draw to a place in the semi-finals. Thirteen-year-old Martyna Ostrzygalo of Edmonton and University of Iowa player Ashleigh Jacobs of Calgary made for a strong Alberta presence in the semi-finals.
The singles champion and finalists were the #1 and #2 seeds–Erin Routliffe (Ontario) and Catherine Leduc (Quebec).
Congratulations to @erinroutliffe today on winning the first CAM LLP Edmonton Women’s Open! Great job and look forward to seeing you back next year to defend your title. Capilano Tennis Club and .@tennisalberta ran a great tournament! https://t.co/YXROfLm33A
— CAMLLP (@CAMLLP) May 20, 2019
Erin Routliffe recently won a WTA doubles title in Bonita Springs, U.S., and has played the WTA/ITF doubles circuit covering the U.S., Mexico, Columbia, Hungary, England, Australia and New Zealand over the past six months.
Kristina Sanjevic (Alberta) and Erin Routliffe (Ontario) were the winning duo in the doubles draw. The former University of Alberta Panda, Kristina held her own among Canada’s top open players, demonstrating once again that she is one of the best tennis players that has ever come out of Alberta.
(Photo above: Erin Routliffe and Kristina Sanjevic, doubles champions, during the final doubles match against Kwong/Leduc. Photo: Melissa Penney Photography).
Kristina Sanjevic (Tennis Alberta’s current Technical Manager, High Performance & Junior Player Development), commented on the tournament’s value for Alberta players:
“It was an amazing opportunity to play against these high-ranked players. You can really see a difference in their consistency and speed of the ball.
I think it is important to have tournaments like these in Alberta so we can showcase our local talent, give them an opportunity to play international players, and also to get a chance to win prize money. One of the issues of the women’s open tournaments is that the draws are too small and the prize money is too little.
I think our top Alberta players did great. Alberta players should begin to enter lower prize money professional tournaments like the 15k and even try to qualify for 25K tournaments.
I would like to see even more high-ranked Canadian players play this event. The experience is invaluable. Sign up!”
In the quarter finals, Martyna Ostrzygalo of Edmonton, currently ranked 4th in Canada in the Junior Girls Under 14 category, out-witted and out played Louise Kwong. Louise, age 24, was the number 3 seed and is currently ranked #18 in Canada.
Kwong’s backhand was a relentless cannon. Martyna adapted, returning to Kwong’s weaker forehand, finessing drop shots, coming to the net on occasion, and maintaining a strong serve. Ostrzygalo came from behind in the second set to take it in two, 6-4, 7-5. This was a big win for Martyna, perhaps the biggest of her career thusfar.
With the quarterfinal win, Martyna moved on to the semi-finals against the number 2 seed, Catherine Leduc from Quebec. Catherine is currently ranked #12 in Canada. Martyna had the lead in the second set but Leduc held steady with patience and consistency at the baseline, winning 6-2, 6-3.
(Photo above: Martyna Ostrzygalo, semi-finalist from Edmonton. Photo: Melissa Penney Photography)
University of Iowa sophomore from Calgary, Ashleigh Jacobs, also won her quarter-final match. It was a long and gritty match against Ana Maria Ileana from British Columbia, the tournament’s 4th seed, currently ranked 43 in Canada.
Ashleigh’s determined defence and shot variety kept Ileana off-rhythm. Rallies were long. Wind conditions demanded tenacity and tactics. Jacobs’ slice backhand was consistent and effective. She kept balls in play and took advantage of her opportunities, earning a well-deserved 6-4, 6-1 victory.
Ashleigh moved on that day to play doubles with her sister in the semi-finals (losing 6-3, 7-6 to Routliffe/Sanjevic). Then that same day she played her third match, the singles semi-final against the #1 seed, Erin Routliffe. Erin is currently ranked 13 in Canada. Again Ashleigh played well, especially in the second set. Routliffe had to work for her points, and she came out the winner in 6-2, 6-4 sets over the Calgarian.
(Photo above: Ashleigh Jacobs, semi-finalist from Calgary. Photo: Melissa Penney Photography).
Alexandra Jewitt from Edmonton, made the quarterfinals with wins over Sophie Stanton and Nawal Youssef. She lost to the #1 seed and tournament champion, Erin Routliffe.
Danielle Gryckiewicz from Calgary’s coaching team at the Glencoe Club, made the quarterfinals with wins over Carmen Sych and Abigail Ackroyd. She lost to the #2 seed and tournament finalist, Catherine Leduc.
Girl Power–the relatively small group of 28 players had ample time over the four days to socialize, exchange tennis info and stories, and to generally enjoy the camaraderie that tennis affords.
(Photo above: Doubles final. On the left, Louise Kwong and Catherine Leduc, finalists. On the right, Kristina Sanjevic and Erin Routliffe, champions. Photo: Melissa Penney Photography).
The tournament also featured a clinic for children. The tournament players helped introduce the youngsters to their favourite game.
— Tennis Alberta (@TennisAlberta) May 18, 2019
Thanks to sponsors CAM LLP Injury Lawyers and Tara Jewellers, among others, a prize pool of $6,500 attracted players from Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. Where there is prize money, they will come. Twelve of the top 100 women in Canada and six of the top 100 junior girls competed. The singles champion took home $1,800, the finalist $900, semi-finalist $450 each, and quartet-finalists $225 each. Doubles teams earned $1,000 as champion, $500 as finalists, and $250 as semi-finalists.
(Photo above: Referees at the Capilano Tennis Club, keeping the ball rolling. Photo: Melissa Penney Photography).
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