A new generation of young tennis players are grabbing attention on Cayman’s courts.
Bobby Lomax, aged nine, has emerged top in the 10 & Under division of PWC junior tennis rankings, having won every match he has played in the two tournaments of the 2012 season.
Harrison Clough, eight, is just behind. He has won an impressive eight out of ten matches. Dion Loutas holds third position, with Bobby’s brother Jack Lomax fourth. Jack is a fast-emerging new talent. He only celebrated his seventh birthday in December, but neither his age nor diminutive stature is preventing him from beating bigger and older adversaries. Another very young competitor who is defying the odds is Jake Serpell, also seven, who is ranked sixth behind Angus Callan-Smith.
In February’s PricewaterhouseCoopers junior tournament, Bobby Lomax defeated Harrison Clough in a nail-biting final. They were a set apiece (1-6, 6-1), and in the deciding tie-break Bobby held his nerve to win 14-12. Jack Lomax overcame Angus Callan-Smith 6-3, 6-4 for third place.
Not to be outdone, Harrison’s elder brother, John-Ross Clough, is currently ranked top in the 12 & Under division. John-Ross has plenty of competition from Reese Hoeksema, James Priaulx and James Bolland (ranked second, third and fourth respectively), all of whom continue to improve and impress as they work on their games.
Last year’s fastest-rising star on the junior circuit, Callum Theaker, 11, is again making his mark this year. He has shot to the number-two spot in the 14 & Under rankings. Leading the pack is Daniel Reid, 14.
Reid’s intelligent play, combined with his tough practise regimen and considerable match experience, have put him well ahead of the 14 & Under pack at this point, with a tournament match record of 12-0, but it will be interesting to watch Theaker’s progress as this year unfolds. Joshua Bolland, always a strong contender, is having another good season: he is ranked third behind Theaker, followed by Nathan McLaughlin, Nicholas Leonard and Matteo Polloni.
Players in the 18 & Under division are thin on the ground this year, but Alex Leonard, 17, (now one of Cayman’s top adult players) and Marc Reid, 17, his chief adversary, plus Edward Bodden, 15, did compete in one PWC tournament, with Leonard winning and Reid the runner-up.
This coming weekend will again see players in all age groups jostle for positions and glory in the 2012’s third PWC junior tournament at the Cayman International School courts at Camana Bay. The public is welcome to watch.