Photo: Joe Ng Photography
When Tennis Canada and National Bank announced their partnership on a long-term equality strategy last May, one of their main goals was to create new opportunities for women and girls in tennis.
Subsequently, an all-girls event named the Girls. Set. Match. Tie-break Tournament presented by National Bank was created, and it was held for the first time on Saturday at the Tennis BC Hub @ Richmond. The tournament was operated by an all-women tournaments team including the tournament manager, tournament director, and tournament assistant.
Similar to the Tie Break Tens played prior to some ATP and WTA tournaments, the event had no sets or games, only points. There were five age categories for the girls participating in the event: U10, U12, U14, U16, and U18. Players were guaranteed a minimum of two 10-minute matches, and from the semi-finals onwards, the contests became proper 10-point tiebreaks.
Bishop Yonna Grossutti kicked off the day by becoming the first-ever Girls. Set. Match. Tie-break Tournament champion. The talented youngster won all four of her matches in the U10 division and outscored her opponents 43 to 31.
In the U12 division, top-seeded Amy Shen, who is fresh off her doubles title at the U12 Fischer Indoor Junior Nationals, played fantastic tennis en route to the finals. She outscored her opponents 55 to 12, and made a statement in the championship match, conceding only two points to her adversary.
The U14 division winner was fourth-seeded Isabella Majstorovic. She defeated third-seeded Melissa Wang 10-4 in the final. Majstorovic had a terrific day and at least doubled her opponents’ point total in all five of her matches.
Tara Tianru Zhan, the top seed in the U16 division, managed to back up her seeding as she clinched the victory against April Wan in the nail-biter final, 12-10. It was Zhan’s second title of the 2022 season, winning her first last week at the Victoria Spring Break Indoor 3.5 Star.
The age group that closed out the event was the U18 division. Madeleine Anne Nolan, the division’s second seed, took out top-seeded Yaqi Huang in the finals. Nolan outscored her opponents 32 to 17 throughout the event.
On top of winning the inaugural Girls. Set. Match. Tie-break Tournament, Grossutti, Shen, Majstorovic, Zhan, and Nolan were invited to hit on centre court during the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers tie in Vancouver.
In addition, all participants were given Girls. Set. Match. gift bags, which included a pair of tickets to watch Canada’s top women compete at the Billie Jean King Cup!
The first edition of the Girls. Set. Match. Tie-break Tournament was an incredible success. It provided girls with an alternative to regular competition. The goal was to provide a fun short-format tournament that removes the pressure of regular competition and reminds girls why they enjoy playing tennis.