Last weekend in Calgary the Tennis Academy hosted the last of four qualifying events for the Alberta Grassroots Charity Tennis Championship (AGCTC).  Ninety-four players competed in 16 events including Open, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 categories.  Four players qualified in each of singles and doubles men’s events.  These Alberta players will join top 1000 ATP players from across Canada at the AGCTC, April 19-22.  Philip Bester, the 29-year old Vancouver native (highest achieved ranking of 140; recently retired from professional tennis) was the winner at last year’s AGCTC event.

(Photo above:  Chair Umpire David Page, Winner Ryan Townsend, Runner Up Daniel Henschel, and Line Umpire Henry Shen, AGCTC #4 Qualifier, Open final)

The Tennis Academy created this tournament with a dual focus on raising money for a selected group of charities, and showcasing Alberta’s top tennis talent.  Some $35,100 in prize money is available  ($25,100 for the final event in April, and $10,000 for the four qualifier events).  Approximately $35,000 is raised by the tournament for donation to four local charities and Tennis Alberta Junior Development Scholarships.

Repeat Winner, Ryan Townsend

The lead story is Ryan Townsend’s sixth victory in AGCTC qualifier tournaments (4 this season, and 2 the previous season).  Ryan won all four of this year’s AGCTC qualifier events earning him an assured entry into the April main event.  He crafted a solid win in the Men’s Open Final over Daniel Henschel, 6-2, 6-3, in a 1.5 hour match.

The final was typical for Ryan Townsend.  He won 4 of 4 qualifier tournaments this season (Sept., Oct., Nov., and this one).   Ryan Townsend was in his usual steady form, arriving at the final for the 4th time.  Pretty amazing.

Ralph McNiven, Tennis Academy, Director of Operations

Breakthroughs and Upsets

Daniel Henschel, Men’s Open runner up, had a breakthrough performance reaching his first final in the AGCTC qualifier series after defeating Tyler Sinclair (7-6, 6-4), Andrei Afilipoaei(6-3, 7-6), Max Szczyppien (3rd seed, 6-2, 7-6) and Ron Barlot (6-3, 6-4).

In Men’s Open Doubles, after defeating second seed Eric Yee in singles (6-4, 7-5), junior Tyler Sinclair teamed up with junior Alex Vukovic to defeat Daniel Henschel (1st-seed) and Vuk Radovic in the doubles final.  The match was hard fought with a 6-3, 4-6, 10-6 final score.  On the previous day, the Sinclair/Vukovic duo had defeated Townsend/Szczypien (2nd seed) in split sets, at 6-4, 1-6, 10-7.

In the women’s 5.0 category, both first and second seeds lost their first round matches.  Eva Rubenstein defeated Mika Kirchner (1st seed) in a 6-2, 6-3 match.  And Natasha Scarlett defeated Carina Bitting (2nd seed) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.  The final was determined in a 2.5 hour tiebreaker between Tennis Academy players Eva Rubenstein and junior Natasha Scarlett, with Rubenstein coming back after a first set loss to take the win (4-6, 6-1, 7-6).

The men’s 5.0 mirrored the women’s, with the #1 and #2 seeds losing early.  In the final, Arthur McCarthy claimed his first 5.0 tournament win with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Chayse Marion.

For full results from the AGCTC Q4 OPEN click here.

Other winners were:
  • Nenko Topalov in 4.0 men’s (6-4, 5-7, 6-4 over James Burke)
  • Pablo Silva in 3.0 men’s (6-1, 6-3 over Tomi Solola).
  • Ellen Toth in 4.0 women’s (6-1, 6-2 over Amanda Richard)
  • Monica Hess in 3.0 women’s (4-6, 6-4, 6-3 over Nicole Forsythe).
Doubles teams winners were:
  • MDOpen–Tyler Sinclair/Alex Vukovic over Daniel Henschel/Vuk Radovic.
  • MD5.0–Ewan Currie/Alex Ferrer over Terry Leighton/Brandon Lin.
  • MD4.0–Kevin Phillips/Dan Townsend over Jarnail Kalsi/Danwardeep Singh Kang.
  • WD5.0–Michelle Lewis/Christine Lilley over Tracee Collins/Eva Rubinstein.
  • XD5.0–Zachary Newhouse/Christine Lilley over Alvin Caro/Marena Nakagawa.

Qualifying for the AGCTC tournament in April, based on the accumulation of points over the four qualifying tournaments are:

  • Ryan Townsend
  • Eric Yee
  • Daniel Henschel
  • Max Szczypien

Doubles qualifiers for the AGCTC in April are: Ryan Townsend, Daniel Henschel, Vuk Radovic, Alex Vukovic, Jeffrey James, Sidney Yap, and Tyler Sinclair.

Good luck to all of the qualifiers and to the tournament organizers at the April 19-22 AGCTC event at the Tennis Academy in Calgary!