St. Andrews’ Reece Carter is representing Manitoba well as she climbs up the national junior tennis ranks.
The 12-year-old, who trains out of the Winnipeg Winter Club, finished seventh in girls’ singles and reached the semifinals in girls’ doubles at the Under 14 Indoor Rogers Junior Tennis Nationals in Vancouver April 2 to 8. She also competes at the Under 16 and Under 18 levels, where Carter is the top-ranked female Manitoba tennis player in all three age groups in both singles and doubles.
“I was happy with both (results at the Under 14 and Under 16 Nationals),” she said.
“I gave my full effort in every match and in the U14, I was very happy with the result. I thought I played very good tennis.”
Carter first fell in love with tennis when she was on vacation with her family at the age of six.
“We went to Wal-Mart and just got a Wilson racket. We had some courts by where we were renting and I just started playing a little,” she recalled.
Since then, Carter has continued to make great strides. She became a member of Canada’s national under-12 tennis team and played tournaments in Florida during the winter.
“I love travelling with Team Canada. It’s just an amazing opportunity to train, being a part of a team and the coaches watching my matches. I watch my teammates’ matches after,” Carter said. “I really do love being a part of a team and supporting my teammates too.”
At the prestigious Orange Bowl tournament in the Sunshine State last December, she won five matches. At the Under 12 Outdoor Nationals in Mont-Tremblant, Que. last August, Carter and Alberta’s Mia Kupres reached the girls’ doubles final.
She is also a talented golfer, winning the 2015 provincial bantam girls championship and helping Interlake win bronze in the girls’ team competition at last year’s Power Smart Manitoba Games.
However, despite the professional Winnipeg Challenger tennis tournaments in July and the influence of rising Canadian tennis stars like Milos Raonic, Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard, there aren’t many competitive youth tennis players in Manitoba.
“There’s not really a lot of people my age in Manitoba. There hasn’t been for a few years,” Carter said, adding there are a few Manitobans playing at the collegiate level in the United States.
Right now, her focus is on the Under 14 Outdoor Nationals at Mont-Tremblant this August where Carter seeks to win a national title.
“I’m really training hard,” she said.