Canada hasn’t been crowning national champions under the age of 12 for very long – only since 2006, in fact. But in those 10 years, there have been lots of great winners who have already gone on to do even greater things.
Here are a few pint-sized players you’ll recognize. Perhaps the champions of this year’s indoor junior nationals, which are wrapping up this week in Markham and Ontario, will follow in their footsteps.
At 16 years of age, Félix has already been beating players older than him for a long time now, including in 2011 when he won the U12 national indoor title at 10 years old. Since then, he famously became the youngest player to ever qualify for an ATP Challenger at the age of 14 in March of 2015 in Drummondville. This year in Drummondville, Félix reached the semifinals where he was beaten by his friend in Denis Shapovalov in a highly touted “Next Gen” encounter.
Françoise was the 2008 winner of the U12 indoor tournament. The U12 title was just the beginning for her, as she’s won the singles crown at all four age groups, U12, U14, U16 and U18. On the pro circuit, the 20-year-old reached a career-high WTA ranking of no. 163 last November and she has won three Challenger titles.
Both current members of the National Training Centre in Montreal, Charlotte and Benjamin won the U12 outdoor national trophies in 2010. That’s them at the top of the podium! They have both gone on to be among the Top 10 juniors in the world. Can you also spot Denis and Katherine Sebov?
Genie was one of the first U12 national champions, winning her title at the outdoor tournament in 2006 at the age of 12. That same year, she was a finalist in the U14 championships before winning it the following season. Fast forward 10 years and she’s the most successful female tennis player in Canadian history!