The 2019 U18 Rogers Indoor Junior Nationals concluded on Friday as the country’s best young players took the courts to compete for the National title at Mayfair East in Markham, Ontario. The singles and doubles titles were all won in straight sets.
There was an upset in the boys’ singles final as fifth-seed Gabriel Diallo overcame third-seed Marko Stakusic. Diallo’s route to the final saw him defeat two seeded players – Nick Lagaev and Ilya Tiraspolsky. Meanwhile, Stakusic saw off top-seed Nicolas Ocana-Lavoie in the semi-final and ninth-seed Maxime Mareschal-Hay in the quarter-final.
Diallo would claim the title with an impressive 6-4, 6-1 victory over Stakusic, who he had also beaten in the semi-finals of the 2018 U18 Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals.
In the girl’s final, Annabelle Xu of Quebec faced off against Ontario’s Victoria Mboko, both seeded fifth. Xu’s road to the final featured a 7-5, 6-4 win over second-seed Marina Stakusic in the quarter-final, while Mboko beat third-seed Corina Spasojevic 7-5, 6-1 having claimed victory in the quarter-final over Stefanie Faith Frias Da Silva, who had upset top-seed Sarah-Maude Fortin in the round of 16.
The final match itself saw Xu take the first set 6-4 before staging a remarkable comeback from 4-1 down in the second set to force a tiebreak. She would carry her momentum into the tiebreak, winning it 7-4 to claim the National title.
Meanwhile in doubles action, Joshua Lapadat and Ilya Tiraspolsky claimed the boy’s title following a tight 7-6(4), 7-6(4) victory over Nick Lagaev and Nicolas Ocana-Lavoie. In the girl’s draw, Sarah-Maude Fortin and Corina Spasojevic teamed up to defeat Dharani Niroshan and Marina Stakusic 6-2, 6-4.
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(Feature photo: Barry Kohl)