All four teams who went into the Junior Davis Cup / Junior Fed Cup and ITF World Junior Tennis Competition qualifying events in Mexico have come out with a secured spot in their respective finals later this year.
With three of the Canadian teams having already qualified on Friday, the U14 boys were looking to join their compatriots as they faced El Salvador on Saturday. Things did not get off to a good start, as Jaden Weekes dropped the opening match 4-6, 6-7. Knowing that his team needed a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the final alive, Stefan Simeunovic put together his most dominant performance of the weekend as he defeated his opponent 6-0, 6-0. In the deciding doubles, the pair of Simeunovic and Aron Pilbart battled past their competitors by a score of 6-2, 4-6, 10-2. With their 2-1 victory over El Salvador, the Canada finished second in their group, thus qualifying for the final in the Czech Republic in August.
Although they already clinched a berth in the finals, the other three Canadian junior teams were also in action on Saturday as they were playing in their final-match-ups of the event.
Facing the tough task of opposing the USA, the U16 Canadian girls put up a great fight on Saturday but were ultimately unable to come away with the victory. Rachel Hanford lost the first singles match in straight sets before Leylah Annie Fernandez rose to the occasion to even out the score. The young Canadian beat an opponent who is ranked inside the ITF Top 10 in straight sets. In the final match, Fernandez and Jada Bui battled hard but dropped the deciding doubles, losing 10-8 in the third set tiebreak.
The U16 boys’ team also had a tough time against the USA on Saturday. In a great display of sportsmanship, Ilya Tirapolsky gave up his singles slot to teammate Samuel Paquette as to ensure even match play for all members of the team. In the first match, Paquette put up a valiant effort, but ended up losing 1-6, 4-6. Joshua Lapadat was also unable to get the win against his American opponent, falling 3-6, 5-7. After experiencing a slow start in each of the sets, the duo of Tirapolsky and Lapadat dropped the final doubles match 4-6, 5-7, giving the USA a 3-0 win.
After two successful days in the qualifying event, the U14 girls were unable to finish off a perfect weekend as they fell 1-2 to the USA. Despite playing a solid first set, Victoria Mboko lost the first match 6-4 6-1. Mia Kupres then tied the overall score after getting a big win by a score of 6-3 4-6 6-4. She was down 4-2 in the third set but was able to come back and win 4 games in a row. In the deciding doubles, Kupres teamed up with Martyna Ostrzygalo but were unable to get the victory over the USA, falling 2-6, 5-7.
It was a great weekend for our Canadian juniors. They are looking forward to the next challenges that await them in Budapest (Hungary) and Prostejov (Czech Republic) later this year!