Conditions were cool this morning as play began at 10:00 a.m. with the NJO finals. First up were the U12 Girls’ and Boys’ Singles. Players warmed up and took to the courts under slightly overcast skies. The park seemed quiet, but as the players became entrenched, the tension was palpable and had a magnetic effect.

The skies brightened and the spectators started to get thicker on the ground, pulled in by the sporting drama unfolding on the courts. It was hard to choose one match to watch with so many great matches going on–there were close-fought points all round and tie-breakers galore in the Open category especially.

A master stroke–and a work of art!

In the NJO U12 Girls’ final Rachel Wu took on Ciena Ahreum Yoo in a match up that ended with Yoo winning 6-1, 6-2. Wu was, unfortunately, feeling unwell but she battled on and showed a strength of character beyond her years.

Rachel Wu and Ciena Ahreum Yoo, U12 NJO finalists

The Boys’ U12 final featured a close battle between Matthew Popa and Christian Grecu. These two young competitors battled for every single ball, producing a match that was riveting to watch. It was the one to watch as spectators began to gather and showed their appreciation for the boys’ efforts. In the end, Popa was victorious winning 6-4, 7-6. Despite a ferocious on-court battle the boys shared a wonderful moment of friendship at the end of the match.

Matthew Popa and Christian Grecu, U12 finalists

In other NJO action, the U14 Boys’ final pitted Gary Chuye Jjang against Maksim Gluic. Jjang came out on top, winning 6-1, 6-2. Girls’ U14 saw Brooke Anne Tuffs take on Charlie Gabrielle Celebrini with Celebrini emerging as the victor 6-3, 6-0. U16 Girls’ action placed Rebecca Jouzy against Havana Kadi. It was a close match, but Jouzy saw it through winning 6-3, 6-4. Boys’ U16’s final featured Owen A.K. Nguyen against Mustafa Murtuza Raja with Nguyen winning 6-2, 6-2.

Gary Chuye Jjang and Maksim Gluic, U14 Boys’ finalists
Brooke Anne Tuffs and Charlie Gabrielle Celebrini , U14 Girls’ finalists

Each of the winners in the NJO has earned a wild card into the Fischer National Junior Open coming up in August. Congratulations to all the finalists today.

Rebecca Jouzy and Havana Kadi, U16 Girls’ finalists
Owen A.K. Nguyen and Mustafa Murtuza Raja , U16 Boys’ finalists with tournament organizer Max Korkh

Other play today included quarters and semis in the Open categories. There were baseline battles in the Men’s and Women’s Singles and amazing athleticism and grit shown in the Men’s and Women’s Doubles and Mixed–with some matches in all categories running close to three hours! Saturday’s match lineup will see Men’s semis at 11:00 a.m., Women’s Doubles at 2:45 p.m., and the Men’s Doubles final at 6:00 p.m. Sunday’s matches showcase the Men’s and Women’s Singles finals beginning at 10:00 a.m.

NTRP matches were also on deck today, with players battling it out on the upper courts. Friends and family were out to watch as well as die-hard tennis fans and curious on lookers too. The day ended as it had begun, with slightly overcast skies. Tomorrow looks like it holds some great weather, and some of the best tennis around. What’s not to love? Join us for a day of tennis and stay for the Celebration of Light in the evening!

The Stanley Bark Open

“There are so many tennis balls! This is the best place I’ve ever been!”

Want to find out if tennis is your perfect match? Come down to Tennis BC’s Community Day!

Open the link below for all of the best shots of the Open!