Not even two weeks after the snow was removed from the Tennis Yukon courts at Mount McIntyre, local players were collecting wins at a B.C. tournament.
Whitehorse’s Ewan Halliday reached the final of the under-12 boys division of the 2013 Coquitlam Junior Spring Challenger tennis tournament over the weekend.
“It’s pretty good and I’m pretty happy with it considering I don’t get to train on a real court during the winter,” said Halliday, who trains on a gymnasium court during the winter in Whitehorse.
“And it’s a lot harder in B.C. with all the high-performance people.”
Halliday advanced through the quarterfinal with a win over top-seed Alexander Priatel, currently ranked 71st in B.C.
The straight-set win didn’t come easy, with both sets going to tiebreakers. Halliday squeaked out the win with a score of 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (13-11).
“That match lasted over three hours and I think it was the longest match I’ve ever played,” said Halliday. “I was just playing my game. I was quite nervous going in, but eventually I just settled down and started winning points – the key points.”
The 12-year-old baseline counterpuncher reached the final with a win over West Vancouver’s Joseph Foster, who retired from the match after taking a fall. The final score was 7-6 (7-2), 5-0.
Halliday, who is a sixth grader at Whitehorse Elementary School, then lost the final 6-2, 6-2 to winner Gabriel Yun.
“I was playing pretty well at the tournament,” said Halliday. “That’s probably the best I’ve ever played.”
Halliday, who reached the semifinal in the same division of the Coquitlam tournament last year, started with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 win over Dilraj Singh Phull in the first round. He was also the runner-up in the U12 division at the Alaska State Junior Championships in Anchorage last October.
Halliday was joined by four Yukon teammates in Coquitlam.
Brother Kieran Halliday opened the under-18 boys division with his own three-hour barnburner, losing 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 to B.C.‘s Brandon Christy. He fought back from 5-1 down in the third to make it 5-5 before dropping the last two games.
He then cruised through his first consolation match before losing in the semi.
Kieran recently helped his high school tennis team from Vancouver’s St. George’s School win the Senior Independent Schools Association Tennis Championship after going undefeated during the regular season.
The team will begin the provincials this week.
Kieran also represented the Yukon in tennis at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in P.E.I.
Aline Halliday lost her first match in under-18 girls 7-6 (7-2), 7-5, to Anastassia Krasnova, currently ranked 44th in B.C.
She then defeated fellow-Yukoner Gentianne Graham, who was suffering from a cold, to reach the consolation final.
Whitehorse’s Alex Roberts dropped his first match to fourth seed Reid Stimpson in the under-14 boys division. He then lost in the consolation.
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