Alberta’s Mia Kupres, at age fifteen, won her first Junior ITF event in Guadalajara, Mexico, on February 16. Felicitaciones Mia!
The Jalisco Junior Cup was held February 11-16. This first place finish at a Level 4 Junior ITF event opens the door for Mia to move up to higher level Junior ITF events, which was one of her goals for this year.
Fresh off a semi-final finish at her very first tournament in Mexico the previous week, Mia led the five-member Tennis Canada team through their second tournament of the Mexico/Guatemala tour.
See previous article on Mia’s Mexico adventure and the Canadian Team.
Mia had this to say about her Junior ITF Championship achievement:
- “I am really happy with how I competed these last 3 weeks. Winning a Grade 4 ITF was a pleasant surprise. This will potentially give me entry into Grade 3 or 2 main ITF draws, which is a step in the right direction towards my ultimate goal of making it to the junior grand slams in a few years.”
How It All Unfolded
Mia was one of nine Canadian players accepted into the 64-player main draw in Guadalajara. Playing in temperatures approaching 30 degrees while we chilled at minus 30 in Edmonton, the tournament unraveled on the red clay under the hot sunshine.
Her first two matches both went to three sets. Determined and focused, she pulled out a win in both matches.
This took her into the third round where she met 16-year old Karin Hamilton of Calgary who is also playing Junior ITFs. Mia won in a close 6-4, 6-4 match.
On to the quarter finals and Mia continued her winning streak by defeating Canadian Frias Da Silva 6-1, 7-5.
Moving on to her sixth match of the tournament and the semi-finals, Mia faced her friend and team mate Anabelle Xu. The match was close but again Mia held her nerve and found a way to win, 7-6, 6-4. With this victory she was on to to her first Junior ITF final.
The championship match featured local favorite F. Gutierrez Martinez of Mexico against our Mia Kupres of Canada. Again the games were close. But again Mia found a way to outplay her opponent, winning in two sets at 6-4, 7-5.
For more information on the Jalisco Junior Cup and Mia’s results see here.
Photo below: Mia Kupres (far left) and her Canadian team mates celebrate in Guadalajara, Mexico at the Jalisco Junior Cup.
The Canadian team moved on to Guatemala and a hard court surface this week making three back-to-back weeks of tournaments. At the time of writing, Mia had just lost to the #1 seed and all five Canadian girls were out. Mia and her team-mate Anabelle Xu had both gone far into the previous two tournaments, suggesting that perhaps some tournament fatigue and the shift to the hard court affected results.
Overall for Mia, she played 13 singles matches in two and a half weeks and had 11 wins and 2 loses. These are pretty good stats for 2019 so far!
When she returns home, Mia’s focus will turn to the provincial and national indoor junior championships where she will compete in the U16 and U18 categories.
Photo below: Mia Kupres signing the official tournament poster at the Jalisco Junior Cup.
Well done and congratulations Mia!
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