It was finals day on Wednesday at the Île des Sœurs tennis club, as four young Canadian prospects were competing to be crowned champion at the U16 Indoor Junior Nationals. These national tournaments gather the best up and coming players from across the country. Many of the former champions have gone on to have successful careers on the professional circuit, including the likes of Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu who are currently making waves on the international scene.
Both the boys and girls final featured players from the province of Quebec, to the delight of the local fans. First up, it was the tournament’s top seed Mélodie Collard against the no. 5 seed Annabelle Xu. Collard had not dropped a set all week, putting on dominant performances throughout the event. Xu disputed a tight quarter-final against the third seed Mia Kupres, but ran away with her semi-final match, not dropping a single game. It was Collard who walked away with the trophy thanks to a 6-3, 6-4 win over her compatriot.
This victory comes at a time where Collard is having tremendous success on the junior circuit. The 15-year-old Gatineau native reached the final of a Grade 1 tournament in Costa Rica early in the year, propelling her in the junior rankings from no. 442 to no. 163. She was recently crowned singles and doubles champion at a Grade 4 event in Panama and reached a career-high ranking of no. 93 just a few weeks ago.
In the boys final, it was a battle of classmates, as Jaden Weekes and Maxime St-Hilaire faced-off for the title. Both players are currently members of Tennis Canada’s National Tennis Centre in Montreal, where they study and train together daily. As the top 2 seeds in this week’s tournament, both players were dominant in their portions of the draw. These performances foreshadowed a high quality final, which did not disappoint.
After dropping the opening set, St-Hilaire came back to take home the trophy with a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 win. This is St-Hilaire’s second National title, having been crowned champion of the U14 Indoor Junior Nationals in 2017. Earlier this year, he reached the doubles final of a Grade 4 junior tournament in Mexico.
Click here for complete tournament results.