Friday, 17 July 2015

Tennis Manitoba News Updates

Canada's Frank Dancevic returns the ball to Belgium's Steve
 Darcis during the first singles match of the Davis Cup World
Group quarter-final in Middelkerke, Belgium on Friday.
(Geert Vanden Wijngaert/The Associated Press)

Manitoba Clay Court Championships and Manitoba Jr Open
Last week's Manitoba tournaments' players brought the heat! Both weather wise and on the court. For a full listing of results and more news about what's happening on our home courts, click here.

Tech-Air Manitoba Open
Registration deadline for the 2015 Tech-Air Manitoba Open is NOON on August 10th. The tournament runs at Kildonan Tennis Club August 12 - 21/15.

Western Canada Games Team Named
Head coach Jared Connell and Assistant Misa Tennant have selected the final roster of 8 players. Congratulations to: Monika Popovic, Jennifer Wang, Mackenzie Miller, Devika Deraj, Shawn Sophosath, Earin Hirkewal, Alex Kirbyson, Stefan Barre. Good luck to our team as they head to Wood Buffalo, AB to compete August 7 - 12

Prairie Regionals
24 juniors players from Saskatchewan and Manitoba will compete at Taylor Tennis July 22 & 23 to qualify for outdoor nationals.

New Title Sponsor for Winnipeg's Pro Event
National Bank has signed on as title sponsor of Winnipeg's men's and women's pro tournament. This year's edition of Canada's sixth largest pro tournament will take place August 22 - 30 at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. Note to all local players - the men's singles winner of the men's Tech-Air Manitoba Open will receive direct entry into the main draw singles while the women's open winner receives direct entry to the qualifying draw.

Local Officials Make the Cut
Congratulations to Manitoba officials Steven Peers and David Kives - both survived the final cut to officiate the "finals" day at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Next up for our crew - Rogers Cup in Toronto and Montreal before heading home to work the Winnipeg National Bank Challenger August 22 - 30.

Team Canada
Devastating news for Canada's representation at the Davis Cup. First Milos Raonic, Canada's top player and ranked 8th in the world, is out due to ongoing problems from foot surgery undergone earlier this year. Now Vasek Pospisil will not be playing either vs Belgium July 17 – 19. Pospisil was Canada's next best shot without Raonic. Unfortunately Pospisil has a wrist injury and will be taking the next 2-3 weeks off to avoid further damage.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Portage tennis player wins two titles at Manitoba Junior Open

Shawn Sophasath, right, alongside Tennis Manitoba director
 of tennis development Jared Connell, middle, and runner-up
 Zachary Baron after the 2015 Manitoba Junior Open final on
 July 9 at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club. (Photo:Sam Unrau)

By Matthew Hermiz, The Graphic

(Portage La Prairie, MB) A local tennis product emerged as king of the court at the 2015 Manitoba Junior Open.

Portage la Prairie native Shawn Sophasath won the boys U18 (under-18) singles event and teamed up with Winnipeg’s Monika Popovic to earn a second title, the U18 mixed doubles crown, at the 2015 Manitoba Junior Open on July 7 to 9 at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.

Sophasath,14, clinched the U18 boys title with straight sets win over Zachary Baron 6-4, 6-4 in the July 9 final. That same day he and Popovic defeated Maya Arksey and Baron 7-6(4), 6-4 in the mixed doubles final.

“It means quite a bit, it’s the highest level of junior tennis in Manitoba,” said Sophasath. “It’s good to see that I’m at that level.”

The No. 1 ranked U14 player in Manitoba toppled Connor Davies 6-4, 6-1 to open the boys singles tournament on July 7 before downing Shrey Gupta 6-3, 6-0 a day later to reach the final.

In U18 mixed doubles, Sophasath and Popovic rallied after dropping the opening set of their semifinal against Marcello Audino and Reece Carter on July 8 to win 3-6, 6-0, 10-8.

Sophasath has enjoyed success on the courts for years. The Portage Tennis Club product will make his second appearance at the junior nationals this year. The pure competition that is a tennis match excites Sophasath, who has been playing the game since he was four-years-old.

“It’s very competitive, I like rising above others. It takes a lot of defeat going through it too, but it’s something learn from,” he said. “I like that it’s a solo sport for the most part playing singles. You don’t have people who will rely on you so you don’t have anyone who you’ll let down except for yourself.”

The long term goal he’s driving towards is earning a U.S. scholarship to play NCAA tennis. In the shorter term, Sophasath has his sights set on the Western Canada Summer Games, which begin Aug. 7 in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Complete Manitoba Junior Open tournament results are available at