The three Pollini brothers, all top
junior tennis players, gained some invaluable experience against worthy foes in
the Bahamas last month.
“It was a great learning experience
for them, especially in terms of travelling and playing and seeing what
opportunities exist outside Cayman,” said coach Dale Avery, assistant pro at
the Cayman Islands Tennis Club who accompanied Nicholas, 9, Matteo, 11, and
Luca, 13, on the trip.
“In terms of standards, the top
Bahamian juniors are at a higher standard, playing International Tennis
Federation tournaments and competing at an international level, which is where
the Cayman Islands should aim to be. This tour pushed our boys out of their
comfort zone. It’s the kind of exposure which will motivate them to train
harder and aim higher.”
Matches were played on clay and
hard courts. Although the boys won a fair number of matches, “it’s evident that
they need to work harder on their clay-court game, especially when it comes to
movement and hitting a ‘heavier’ ball”, noted Avery. “As a lot of ITF
tournaments are played on clay, more focus needs to be put on the players’
clay-court game if they are to travel and play on the regional junior circuit.”
Sponsors of the trip were PricewaterhouseCoopers
and the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands. The boys were hosted by
Bahamian coach Bradley Bain.
David Berry, new head of the Cayman
Tennis federation, said the federation hopes to expand the number of overseas
tournaments in Cayman’s 2010-11 junior circuit season.
“One of our long-term aims is to
raise our standards of play and increase the number of young players able to
compete regionally, and these overseas tournaments are one means of helping us
reach that goal,” said Berry. “This trip was a great success, with a lot of
tennis played and the three boys were great ambassadors of the Cayman Islands.
Many of the local players were sad to see them leave, and urged them to play in
future ITF-sanctioned tournaments.”