Hamill falls in semifinals

Friday was a tough day for Mark Hamill during the junior provincial tennis championships at the Red Deer Tennis Club.

Friday was a tough day for Mark Hamill during the junior provincial tennis championships at the Red Deer Tennis Club.

The Penhold native, who plays out of the Red Deer Club and the Simon Tennis School, lost in semifinal play in both the U16 and U18 divisions in the Champs Division.

Hamill, who went into the tournament ranked No. 1 in both categories, lost for the first time this season at the junior level.

He dropped a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 5-7 decision to Akhil Metha of Edmonton in the U18 division and lost 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7 to Jimmy Le of Calgary in the U16 category.

Hamill will play for third place in both divisions, beginning at 10 a.m. today.

The day wasn’t a complete loss for Hamill as he teamed with Metha to beat Le and Vuk Radovic of Calgary 6-1, 6-4 in the U18 boys’ doubles. They face Luke Manley and Alex Berdnikoff in the final at 12:30 p.m.

Bruno Simon of Red Deer lost 5-7, 3-6 to No. 2 ranked Jeffrey James of Edmonton in the Champs U14 boys’ singles. Simon will meet Sidney Yap of Calgary in the third-place match at 10:30 a.m. Yap lost 0-6, 1-6 to top-ranked Harrison Scott of Calgary.

Simon also teamed with David Lashuk of Edmonton in the U14 boys’ doubles, but lost 1-6, 4-6 to Scott and Yap. They play for third place today at 1 p.m.

On the girls’ side of the Champs division, which is for athletes ranked in the top eight, Tereza Simonova of Red Deer beat Lara Stakic of Calgary 6-2, 6-1 to take fifth place in the U12 division.

The two will hook up to play for fifth place in the U14 girls’ doubles division today at 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile in the Challenger Division, which is for athletes not ranked in the top eight, No. 1 seeded Mackenzie Jones of Red Deer lost 1-6, 2-6 to Natalia Lombardi of Edmonton in the U18 girls’ semifinals. The other semifinal was an all-Red Deer affair with Natalie Hamill downing Cecile Badenhorst 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.

A trio of Red Deer athletes ­— Jayden Halsey, Morgan See and Kobus Badenhorst — saw action in the Challenger boys U16 singles round of 16.

Halsey advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sean Bremner of Calgary and will face No. 1 seeded Daniel Henschel of Edmonton at 4 p.m. today.

See won twice, beating Mark Sauer 6-1, 6-2 and Jevon Koonan of Calgary 6-1,6-4 and will take on third-ranked Jerrod Parker of Calgary at 4 p.m. Parker advanced with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Badenhorst.

The tournament ends Sunday.