Platform for the next generation of tennis

Platform for the next generation of tennis

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The UNI(T) Academy announced yesterday the players who will be part of the main draw during the M25 which will take place from October 24 to 30 at the Saint-Augustin Indoor Tennis Center. 

Two Canadians are in the Top 8. Liam Draxl, Gabriel Dialo's teammate with the Kentucky Wildcats, is in 3rd place and Justin Boulais is in 7th place. Color holder of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Boulais is the son of Patricia Hy-Boulais who has already reached the WTA Top 20. His father Yves Boulais is his trainer.

Winner of the Granby Challenger in June and registered in Saint-Augustin, Gabriel Diallo withdrew because he was accepted in a higher tournament.

“I am pleasantly surprised by the international composition of the table, underlined the general manager and owner of the Saint-Augustin Indoor Tennis Complex Pierre-Luc Tessier. I thought we would have mostly Americans and Canadians.” The favorite is the Tunisian Aziz Dougaz who occupies the 330th rank in the ATP ranking.

Happy with the international contingent, Tessier is also delighted with the presence of good Canadians who are trying to climb the ladder of the professional tennis. “I'm happy to see the next generation of Canadians entered in our tournament,” he said. We are doing this tournament for young people and to discover the next stars.”

“In Gatineau in 2017 and 2018, Ugo Humbert and Denis Shapovalov won the victory and we did not see them again, to continue Tessier. Humbert reached No. 25 in the world and Denis made a semi-final at Wimbledon.”

Other Canadians include Benjamin Sigouin, a tall 6'6″ southpaw from Vancouver and Nicaise Muamba who on his side will have to pass by the table of the qualifications. Both players have two things in common.

“They both went through the Tennis Canada Academy in Montreal and that proves that their factory to train the next generation works,” said Tessier. Both evolved with Félix Auger-Aliassime at Tennis Canada. Félix and Benjamin took part in the Open Super 12 of Auray which brings together the best hopes in the under 12s. Sigouin had reached the final and Félix the semi-final. We needed a waiver so that Félix could participate in the tournament because he was only ten years old.”

In Auray and Gatineau, Tessier was the coach of the Canadian team.

A place for Quebecers

Tessier also wanted to ensure that the tournament make room for Quebecers. “I wanted an accessible tournament,” he explained. We have a player from our UNI(T) Academy in Jean-Nicolas Leblanc who got a bye into qualifying. By winning the pre-qualifying tournament, Montrealer Dani Farran also secured his spot in the qualifying draw.”

Leblanc was very happy to get this opportunity. “My goal is to get to the main draw,” he said. There are big players present and it will be a great experience. This will be my first adult tournament.”

Winner of a J4 tournament in Santo Domingo last April, Leblanc hopes to continue his career in the United States next year. “By correspondence, I am doing my 12th year in a secondary school in Nebraska, he specified. I have initiated discussions with NAIA schools.”