N.W.T. tennis players at the Canada Summer Games are off to an inspiring start.
Teresa Martin, 17, and Ofira Duru, 15, posted a big win Sunday in the girls doubles, winning their match against Newfound and Labrador in three sets, including a lengthy 7-6 win in the second set.
Martin, from Yellowknife, said she’s never competed at such a large event before.
“Overall, it was unreal. And we were really proud of ourselves and really happy with the outcome of the match,” she said.
“We realized we had to change our game going into the third set. So we reevaluated what we were doing. And then the final set was six – one. So we were really happy with how we changed things and how we adapted to the situation.”
Martin said there were also several N.W.T.’ers there to cheer them on, including a group who held the N.W.T. flag from the crowd.
Duru said they’re prepared to take on team P.E.I. in their upcoming match. But, she added that being at the Canada Summer Games feels much more daunting than the Western Finals.
“Being at westerns is a completely different situation,” Duru said. “[Canada Games is] like a much bigger event.”
Coach Jan Martinek said so far, the team’s spirit has been up.
“The team’s got a really great energy. We’re having a great time,” said Martinek.
“It was a big win yesterday for the girls since the Northwest Territories tennis team hasn’t got a win in about 10 years. So that was a great icebreaker.”
The team will be up against tough teams if they win against P.E.I., Martinek said.
“If we win these matches, we get placed into a tennis draw … and will be most likely matched against a way bigger province that has the access to tennis courts all year long,” he said.
“So let’s say they just get way more practice than us during the year.”
But, regardless of the outcome, he said the main point of attending the Games is for the experience and to enjoy it.
“I always made sure the kids know we’re here way more for the opportunity to experience Summer Games and have fun with it,” Martinek said.
“So we are all expecting to be more about the fight and less about the result.”