Local tennis prodigy to compete at Junior Nationals

March 30, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

It has been a rapid rise to success for teenage tennis sensation Jayden Templeman who, in just a little over four years, has transformed himself from a complete novice of the sport into one of the top emerging talents in the country.

Ever since he first picked up a racket in the fall of 2012, Jayden knew he was on to something special. While tennis was originally seen simply as a way for him to remain active and have fun outside of school, Jayden’s natural talent for the sport quickly shone through, elevating him from a recreational to competitive level.

“I think I want to make a run at going pro one day,” Jayden told the Citizen. “Tennis is fun. I’ve really enjoyed myself over the past few years.”

Jayden will test his skills against 11 of the nation’s other best young athletes at the Under-14 Rogers Junior Nationals, to be held in Vancouver from April 3 to 9. While it will be Jayden’s first time competing at the highest level, his coach, Miran Cehajic – a former Canadian pro player – believes he has what it takes to make a lasting impression on the big stage.

“I’ve been with Jayden since the fall of 2015 and the improvement I’ve seen in his skills has been incredible,” Mr. Cehajic said. “He works so hard and really deserves this chance to show what he can do at nationals.”

Based at Headwaters Racquet Club in Orangeville, Jayden typically spends over 20 hours per week training and playing in the facility’s High Performance Program as he bids to emulate the likes of Milos Raonic, the Canadian pro who himself has experienced a supersonic rise in recent times, going from relative obscurity in the tennis world to the fifth ranked professional on the men’s ATP World Tour in just a matter of months. And while Jayden draws inspiration from the likes of Raonic, it’s another player he hopes to mirror en route to carving out a career in the sport.

“Novak Djokovic (the world’s number two ranked professional) is my favourite player,” Jayden said. “He’s great. You can learn so much just from watching him play.”

With this being Jayden’s first appearance at a national tournament, he is considered an outside bet to go the distance. For him though it’s all about making the most of the experience and building on the opportunity he’s earned.

“I’m not sure how I’ll do,” Jayden said. “I’ll give it my all, play my game and see where that takes me.”

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