Junior tennis continues to flourish in Grand Cayman with close to 30 children taking part in the year’s first PricewaterhouseCoopers-sponsored tournament.
In the 10 and Under division, Harrison Clough impressed with his customary combination of aggression and consistency, emerging the winner with an unbeaten record of eight victories.
Jack Lomax fulfilled high expectations with six matches going his way and two conceded and Oskar Bjuroe and William Priaulx came third and fourth, respectively, with 4-4 scores apiece.
Last year’s 10&Under champion, Bobby Lomax, made quick work of establishing himself at the top of the 12&U division, with six wins to his name and no losses.
He knocked last year’s 12&U champion, John-Ross Clough, into the No. 2 slot with four wins and two defeats.
Third, and new to the PwC junior tennis circuit, was Cayman Prep student Jonah Narborough. His illustrious tennis pedigree – his aunt is a former British No. 1 – makes him an interesting contender. His rapid progress since taking up tennis last year suggests he has the genes and is one to watch.
In the 14&U division, Matteo Polloni fought his way past his younger brother and close rival Nicky to win all five of his matches and now leads the division.
Nicky, prodigiously consistent, was a close second, with James Priaulx earning himself third place and Nathan McLaughlin fourth.
Last year’s top three 14&U players – Daniel Reid, Callum Theaker and Nicholas Leonard – all have moved into the 18&U division.
Reid, 14, who now plays in the top singles division at the Tennis Club, easily scooped the winner’s spot, undefeated in six matches.
Theaker, who is only 12, was the runner-up, with Leonard third, followed by Sebastian Pantin, Emma Booker and Andrew Jordan.
The dynamics of the 18&U division will be worth watching in the months ahead.
Reid is looking strong, but Theaker continues to improve. Nicholas Leonard’s game definitely moved up a notch last year, which has given him added momentum. If Eddie Bodden, 16, also joins the fray, anything could happen.
The next PwC tournament is at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman between 22 and 24 February. There are eight junior tournaments on the PwC circuit this year, with the final one, in December, reserved for the top-ranked contestants in each age group.
Competitors are awarded points after each tournament according to the number of matches won and ranked accordingly.
Each tournament has roughly 30 players, with ages ranging from 7 to 18. Players are divided into four age categories: 10&U; 12&U; 14&U; 18&U.
More than 50 children played in at least one tournament last year, with the majority playing in at least four or five.
Additional information and entry forms can be found on the Tennis Federation’s site on Facebook. Entry forms can also be collected from the Tennis Club in South Sound and the Ritz-Carlton tennis centre.
Entry forms need to be handed in to the relevant tournament director the Monday before the event.
“The juniors really enjoy these competitive two-day events,” said Cayman Islands Tennis Federation president Jeremy Superfine. “They boost the youngsters’ confidence as well as their skills and give them invaluable match experience.”