Kayla Cross - Granby 2022 1st round

Photo: Sarah-Jade Champagne

On Tuesday, the list of players entered in the National Bank International Junior Tennis Championships in Repentigny was unveiled. Sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the tournament, which will celebrate its 35th edition this year, will take place from August 28 to September 3, 2022 at Parc Larochelle in Repentigny.

In the boys’ draw, Canadian Jaden Weekes (Montreal, QC) of the National Tennis Centre presented by Rogers will be one of the players to watch. The 17-year-old is the tournament’s defending champion tournament and is expected to be the fifth seed in the draw. This season, the no. 22 ranked junior player in the world was crowned champion of the J2 ITF tournament in Prato, Italy and was also a semifinalist at the J1 event in Nottingham. Over the summer, he also had the opportunity to play in his first two professional tournaments, the main draw of the Winnipeg Challenger and the qualifying draw of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers in Montreal.

Other top seeds include Kilian Feldbausch of Switzerland and Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico. Feldbausch is currently ranked no. 7 on the junior rankings and won the J1 event in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France. Mendez, ranked no. 11 in the world, will also be one to watch as he took home five ITF junior titles last year.

On the girls’ side, two other National Tennis Centre athletes are at the top of the list of participants, Kayla Cross and Mia Kupres. Cross, who qualified for the main draw of a WTA tournament for the first time ever this past weekend in Granby, is ranked no. 27 on the world junior rankings. In 2022, she has been particularly prolific in doubles, winning three ITF J1 tournaments in addition to being a finalist at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Kupres (ranked no. 46 on the junior rankings) was a finalist in Porto Alegre, Brazil and reached the quarter-finals at this year’s prestigious Roehampton tournament. The two young Canadians are expected to be seeded fifth and tenth, respectively.

However, Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia will be the favourite to win the title in Repentigny as she is the highest ranked player entered at no. 8 in the world. After starting the year ranked no. 99, she quickly climbed the ranks thanks to a title in Lima, Peru (J1) and a final appearance in Santa Croce Sull’Arno, Italy. France’s Yaroslava Bartashevich (no. 12) and Australia’s Taylah Preston (no. 15) will also be competing. Preston, who is 16 years old, is having a very good season. She has won two J1 titles and one J3 title, a high point in her young career.

Six male and six female players will receive wild cards into the main draw, ensuring a strong Canadian representation at the tournament.

Over the years, the Repentigny international junior tennis event has built a nice reputation among the athletes. Great champions have passed through Repentigny, including Bianca Andreescu, Eugenie Bouchard, Gaël Monfils, Iga Swiatek, Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Milos Raonic and many others. The 35th edition of the tournament could certainly unveil the next big star in international tennis.