Cleeve Harper from Calgary, Alberta, put the cherry on top of his junior tennis career with great results at the U18 Canadian Nationals held August 9-16 in Mississauga, Ontario:
- First in the U18 doubles with partner Liam Draxl.
- Winner of the Sportsmanship Award.
- Fourth place in U18 singles after taking the #1 seed to three sets (3-6, 6-3, 6-3 against Taha Baadi).
(Photo above: Cleeve Harper, his doubles partner Liam Draxl, and tournament organizers)
This was Cleeve’s last crack at nationals as a junior Canadian, as he turns 18 in December.
This was a good one to end on. I was very happy with my results. I started competing in junior nationals when I was 13. This will be my last as a junior, so it was special to win first in doubles, fourth in singles, and the sportsmanship award. Cleeve Harper
Harper is ranked #8 in Canada in the U18 division, and is the top Alberta U18. (Felix Auger-Aliassime is the #1 ranked U18).
In other tournament results, Hana Gamracy came 3/4 in doubles with partner Chae Eun Yoo, another outstanding result for Alberta.
A Dream 2018 for Harper
This was Harper’s last year at Hilton Head Island Smith-Stearns Tennis Academy in South Carolina where he has been playing tennis and going to school since the age of 14.
So far in 2018 Cleeve has played no less than eleven Junior ITF events covering the U.S., Central America, and Canada. He came first in doubles and second in singles at the Calgary Junior ITF event in June, and then won the Edmonton Saville Junior ITF singles event in July in an all-Alberta final against runner up Oscar Yang (Oscar is currently the second highest ranked Alberta U18 player at #41.). See complete Edmonton tournament results.
After the Edmonton tournament in July, Cleeve moved on to Vancouver and the Davis Trading Junior ITF Vancouver Championships where he made semi-finals in singles and quarter finals in doubles.
I talked to Cleeve after he returned from his most recent tournament in Maryland.
Interview with Cleeve Harper
Q: What is next for you?
A: I am starting at the University of Texas in January. I have a few tournaments to play in the fall and will have a break in Calgary for the next couple of weeks. I may return to Hilton Head for some practice between tournaments.
Q: Why did you choose the University of Texas?
A: The University of Texas has a good combination of academics and tennis. Austin is a fun city. I bonded with the team there, and another Canadian friend is also going there in January (Chi Chi Huang from Vancouver).
Q: How did you like your tennis and schooling at Hilton Head?
A: It was a good decision to go there. My tennis really improved. I started doing ITF events right away. I saw many new places and met new people. I traveled everywhere with my Hilton Head roommate and we had many fun times.
Q: What are your goals now that you are moving on to university?
A: I hope to keep improving with my tennis. I hope to study engineering, or possibly business. We will see what happens.
Q: What is your advice to young tennis players?
A: Keep working hard, anything can happen. I wasn’t that good when I started at around nine years old. I lost many matches. Don’t give up because with hard work you can achieve success.