Canadian roster junior BJK cup Davis Cup World Junior Team

Photo: Victor Estrella

A busy week of junior tennis action has wrapped from Orlando, Florida with successful outings for a pair of the Canadian squads.

The U16 girls team and U14 boys roster have both advanced past the qualifying stage and into the Finals for the Junior Billie Jean King Cup and ITF Junior World Tennis competition.

Let’s breakdown the action:

Junior BJK Cup squad qualify

Led by Captain and former world no. 21 in doubles Sharon Fichman, the U16 Girls squad had a strong showing on the courts, to advance through a tough qualifying field and earn a place in the Finals.

The week began Wednesday with a tough matchup against the Americans, as the Canadians lost the tie 3-0, with BC’s Charlize Celebrini and Nadia Lagaev of Ontario falling in singles, before Celebrini and Quebec’s Clémence Mercier lost a tight doubles rubber, 3-6, 6-2, 10-4.

Read more: Monday Digest

The group bounced back though on Thursday, with a great performance against Mexico.

Celebrini defeated Abril Cardenas Olivares 6-1, 6-3 to open the action, before Lagaev sealed the tie with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Hanne Estrada Cortes. In doubles, Celebrini again teamed up with Mercier, and this time the pair prevailed, defeating Marianne Angel Gomez and Estrada Cortes in a closely contested match, 6-4, 4-6, 10-8.

The group returned to the court on Friday for a pivotal matchup against Puerto Rico. Captain Fichman slightly shuffled her lineup for the showdown; Lagaev again led in singles, producing a flawless result, defeating Carolina Castro 6-0, 6-0 in just 53 minutes. Mercier played her first singles match, and she delivered with an impressive 6-4, 6-0 win over Aurora Lugo. Celebrini and Lagaev then paired in an empty doubles rubber for a straight sets win.

The squad will now move into the Billie Jean King Cup Junors Finals stage, held November 4th to 10th in Spain.

Meanwhile, Canada’s U16 junior Boys Davis Cup team came just short of qualification. Quebec’s Miko Lapalme, and Felix Roussel and Quincy Yao, both of Ontario, opened with a 3-0 victory over the Bahamas, however they would lose a tight 2-1 tie to Mexico, and were eliminated Friday, falling 3-0 to the United States.

Photo: V. Estrella

World Junior Tennis Boys Team break through

Captained by Philippe Courteau, the U14 Canadian boys played some clutch tennis when they needed to qualify for a spot in the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals.

After falling to the American team 3-0 on the opening day, the squad had exactly the response required on day two against Mexico.

Ontario’s Julian Mahdavi set the tone, opening with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Santiago Garcia Puente. Callum Mackinnon would then take the reins, posting a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jaime Gomez Lopez. The squad completed a flawless tie, as BC’s Luca Vicol and Mahdavi rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 10-4 win in doubles to cap a 3-0 win.

Photo: V. Estrella

The team would then secure a spot on the Friday, defeating Guatemala 3-0.

Mahdavi, Mackinnon, and Vicol are all prospect team members for Tennis Canada’s junior program.

With the victory, Canada’s World Junior Team will now head to the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals held August 5-10 in Prostejov, Czech Republic.

The Girls team had a positive week despite falling short of qualification. Amy Shen and Rachel Wu of B.C., and Isabella Ruyu Yan of Saskatchewan, competed admirably, defeating Guatemala 3-0 on their opening day, before losing a pair of 2-1 ties to Mexico and the United States.

Shen, Wu, and Ruyu Yan are all prospect team members for Tennis Canada.