By Martin Boyce
During a summer that’s taken her to Edmonton and Vancouver for International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit events, Ottawa’s Corina Spasojevic got to enjoy one of her bigger triumphs back at home.
The Ottawa Athletic Club player dominated some of Canada’s best young talents en route to defending her under-16 girls’ singles and doubles Roman Cup titles at the July 31-Aug. 6 tournament at the Rideau Tennis Club.
Spasojevic entered the National Junior Open Series event seeded first and followed suit with a strong showing, gliding her way to the final and promptly taking it 6-3, 6-2.
“I think my performance this year was actually really good,” she says, noting she was dealing with injuries during her 2016 Roman Cup victory. “I’m glad I was able to perform this well without losing any set.”
While Spasojevic’s success has come quickly, it’s been years in the making. She swung her first racquet at age 3 with her dad tossing her balls in their kitchen and garage. Two years later, she took her first lesson and soon after joined the OAC.
The Louis-Riel high school student reached her first U16 nationals at 13, and she now finds herself as one of the top athletes in Canada.
“Honestly I think I improved a lot since last year,” signals Spasojevic, who went on to reach the quarter-finals in both singles and doubles at the Aug. 22-27 Under 16 Outdoor Rogers Junior Nationals in Gatineau. “My body’s been healthy, I wasn’t sore at all and I was feeling great.”
The 15-year-old also won U16 doubles gold alongside Hana Gamracy as well as her first Roman Cup U18 singles title.
The event featured more than 300 athletes across the U12, U14 and U16 National Junior Series age groups, on top of entrants in the tournament’s other U10 and U18 divisions.
Other Ottawa players hitting the podium at the Roman Cup were Owen Dunn alongside partner Nicola Ion (3rd in U14 boys’ doubles) and Marko Arezina with partner Adrian Tudor (3rd, U18 boys’ doubles). Arezina also placed 4th in U16 singles, losing an almost 3-hour semi-final before dropping the 3rd-place match in 3 sets as well.
The National Capital Tennis Association hosted its City Championships from Aug. 19-27 at the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club.
Petra Januskova lost just 1 game in 3 matches to win the women’s singles title. She also won mixed doubles with Adrian Kucharik.
Jeremy Gibbons-Schneider and Jordan Sweeney topped men’s doubles, while Alexander Mironov prevailed 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 over James Ferguson in the men’s singles final.