Carol Zhao and Kimberley-Ann Surin have been friends, foes and roommates this week during the International Tennis Federation circuit event at Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club.
The two players won the female doubles title Friday at the under-18 event, called the 2010 Canadian Mid-West ITF U18, and will meet in the female singles final today.
The tournament included 75 top junior-aged players from Canada, USA, Korea, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Croatia, Great Britain, Mexico, Australia and Brazil. The event was the first international tennis tournament held in Winnipeg since the 1999 Pan Am Games.
The winner of the boys' doubles title on Friday was the Canadian pairing of Vincent Chan and Joshua Malyon of Toronto.
The girls' singles final will be played at 10 a.m. today followed by the boys' singles final which will feature Samuel Monette of Rapontinay, Que. and Hugo Di Feo of Montreal.
In the case of rain, the singles finals will be moved indoors to the Winnipeg Winter Club.
Zhao has won the other two Western Canadian ITF events earlier this summer in Edmonton and Vancouver beating Surin, 15, of Montreal in the final of both.
"It's going to be exciting, that's three tournaments in a row that we're meeting in the (singles) final," said Zhao, 15, who is from Richmond Hill, Ont. "We're able to keep it separate (friendship and competition) so it'll be a good match."
She said she and Surin, the eldest daughter of former Canadian sprinter and Olympic gold medallist Bruny Surin, are doubles partners for the first time and have been sharing accommodations during their Winnipeg stay.
"Kim has a big serve and really long legs so she covers the court really well so that's good in doubles and makes her a tough opponent in singles," Zhao said. "I'm a really good volleyer and I think I have a good court sense and really good (hitting) all around the court. That's an advantage for me because some girls just hit straight."
Zhao has plenty to play for today as the top Canadian male and Canadian female points winners from the three Western Canadian ITF events earn berths in the 2010 National Bank Canadian Open Junior Championships in Repentigny, Que., Aug. 27-Sept. 4.
The top finisher from Manitoba was Muzeem Ismath of Winnipeg who reached the quarter-finals.