Day 1 was full of action in Mexico as our junior teams took the first step in trying to secure their spots in the finals at both the Junior Davis Cup / Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and the ITF World Junior Team Competition qualifying events.
The Canadian squad faced off against the home nation, Mexico, on Thursday. Despite experiencing some difficulties in the second sets of their respective matches, Leylah Annie Fernandez and Jada Bui managed to get the victory to put Canada up 2-0 after singles action. Fernandez then teamed up with Rachel Hanford to win the doubles, thus securing the 3-0 team win over Mexico.
On Friday, Canada will take on Puerto Rico.
The boys also took on Mexico on day one. The Canadian team got off to a rough start, with Samuel Paquette dropping the opening singles match 3-6, 0-6. Things didn’t seem to be getting any better in the following match, as Ilya Tirapolsky found himself down a set, without winning a single game. But the young Canadian was able to battle back and take the match 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. Tied at 1-1, it was up to Paquette and Joshua Lapadat to try and clinch the tie for Canada. The duo did not disappoint, securing the victory for their nation with a 6-2, 6-4 win.
The Canadian squad will be looking to secure their spot in the finals as they take on Guatemala on Friday.
In the girls under 14 competition, Canada put forth an impressive performance on Thursday, getting the 3-0 victory against Guatemala. Although Martyna Ostrzygalo struggled in the first singles match, she ultimately pulled out the win by a score of 6-4, 7-5. Up next was her teammate Mia Kupres who cruised through her singles match 6-1, 6-1. In the final doubles match, the pair of Ostrzygalo and Victoria Mboko were victorious, defeating their opponents 6-4, 6-2.
The young Canadians will take on Mexico on Friday.
For their opening round, the Canadian boys’ team drew a tough match-up against the USA. After spending over seven and a half hours on court, they dropped a tough battle against their opponents 0-3. All of the matches were extremely close, but the young Canadians were ultimately unable to pull off the upset over their American counterparts. The two singles matches required three sets, as Jaden Weekes fell 6-2, 5-7, 1-6 as did his compatriot Stefan Simeunovic by a score of 4-6, 7-6(4), 3-6. In doubles, Simeunovic teamed up with Aron Pilbert, losing a tight match 4-6, 6-7(7).
This week, our junior players all wore a black ribbon on their jacket sleeves as a way to pay respect and honour the victims of Monday’s horrific incident in Toronto that hit very close to home for Tennis Canada.