|Photo : Sara-Jäde Champagne
On Thursday, three Canadians were vying for a spot in the semi-finals at the 2019 edition of the National Bank Canadian Open Junior Championships. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the Grade 1 junior tournament is being held from August 25 to 31 at Parc Larochelle in Repentigny.
First up was Ontario native Joshua Lapadat who was taking on Francesco Maestrelli of Italy. After eliminating the tournament’s second seed, the young Canadian was facing the only other unseeded player in the quarter-finals. Despite taking the opening set, the 16-year-old Lapadat was unable to move past his opponent, falling 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Still in search of his first junior ITF singles title, he came close earlier this year at the Grade 3 events in Burlington and Vancouver. And just a week ago, he was crowned champion at the Under 18 Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals which took place at the Ontario Racquet Club.
It was an all-Canadian quarter-final match-up between Jada Bui and Ariana Arseneault. This was just the second meeting between the two, with Arseneault winning their only other previous encounter. After a tightly fought opening set which eventually went Bui’s way, she continued her momentum into the second, this time taking control. She raced off to an early lead and would take the match after Arseneault retired late in the second due to an injury. Bui moves into the semi-finals with a 7-5, 5-0 ret. victory. Up next, she will face Carole Monnet of France who ousted the tenth seed Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain.
Bui is vying to become the first Canadian girl to take home the title since Bianca Andreescu was crowned champion back in 2015. Other local past champions include Françoise Abanda (2012), Eugenie Bouchard (2011) and Rebecca Marino (2007), among others.
The other girls semi-final will feature the sixth seed Sohyun Park of Korea and the seventh seed Elsa Jacquemot of France. On the boys side, the first semi-final will oppose Leandro Riedi of Switzerland (no. 13) and Tristan Schoolkate if Australia (no. 10) while the second will see Maestrelli take on Frenchman Valentin Royer (no. 4).
In doubles, it was a short rest for Lapadat who was back in action with compatriot Ilya Tirapolsky taking on the fifth seeds Leandro Riedi and Dominic Stephan Stricker. The Canadian duo lost by a score of 6-3, 6-3.
The National Bank Canadian Open Junior Championships is the only Grade 1 ITF junior tournament in Canada. The tournament welcomes the best players from around the world between the ages of 14 and 18.
(Feature photo : Sara-Jäde Champagne)