In PwC’s latest junior tennis tournament, 9-year-old Oskar Bjuroe continued to build his reputation as one of Grand Cayman’s most promising child players with an easy victory.
Top seed Bjuroe, who cheerfully confesses his ambition is “to win Wimbledon ten times,” swept past Todd Purton, Ella Beighton and Caden Stradling in the second PwC tournament of 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton to secure the 10&Under trophy.
Bjuroe finished ranked No. 3 in the 10&U last year, behind Harrison Clough and Jack Lomax, both of whom have now moved up into higher age divisions. Bjuroe looks increasingly set to be the dominant 10&U player.
Willow Wilkinson, also aged 9, who triumphed in the 10&U back draw, was one of four girls to compete in this age group from a total field of eight players.
All matches were the best of two sets, with a 10-point tie-break to decide the winner if the score was set-all.
Jack Lomax, who celebrated his ninth birthday at Christmas, is already asserting himself in the PwC 12&U division. James Rew put up a good fight against Lomax in the semis, but ultimately succumbed 0-6, 2-6, and Lauren Fullerton, who enjoyed a comfortable win over Alex Claybourn in the other semi, went down 6-2, 6-3 to Lomax in the final.
Neildeep Ghosh knocked out Shmitee Arun to win the 12&U back draw.
Lomax’s talented older brother Bobby, despite only being 11, is playing in the 14&U division this year, and made short work of the opposition in this tournament.
In the semis, John-Ross Clough took him to a tie-break in the first set, but went down 7-4 and then lost his way in the second set, giving Lomax a 7-6, 6-1 victory.
In the finals, Lomax met Clough’s younger brother and No. 2 seed Harrison, 10, who had a prolonged battle with Jona Narborough in the other semi before winning on a 10-point tie-break. Lomax cruised to an easy win over Harrison, confirming the wisdom of Lomax’s No. 1 seeding.
Matthew Barnett and Calum Lindsay clashed in an impressive final in the 14&U back draw. They took a set apiece, before Barnett finally emerged the victor with a 10-8 score in the deciding tie-break.
Daniel Reid, widely acknowledged as one of the best players on the island despite being only 15, went into the PwC 18&U division as the top seed, with long-time rival Callum Theaker, 13, the No. 2.
Reid has won the majority of their previous clashes, but Theaker, not to be deterred by his underdog status, refused to lose heart after dropping the close first set. He took the second set 6-1, and his nerve then prevailed in the ensuing tie-break, which he took 10-7.
Nicholas Leonard overcame Nathan McLaughlin to win the 18&U back draw.
“The level of play was really good, especially the semi-finals and finals,” said tournament chief Thomas Neuert, director of tennis at the Courts at the Ritz-Carlton.
“It’s always fun to host these events, with the best competing against each other, and the parental support is always great.”
This year, he added, all PwC tournaments are having “a knock-out draw, which will be good preparation for those juniors playing in overseas tournaments.” The back draws, plus having to play two sets, mean that the players still get in plenty of tennis, he noted.
Hard work by Ritz-Carlton tennis staff ensured the tournament was a success, Neuert added. “I appreciate the hard work and dedication of my team.”
There are two more PwC junior tournaments this year, on May 9-11 at the Ritz-Carlton and Oct. 3-5 at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club in South Sound.
A final championship invitational event, for the top eight players in each age group only, is slated for Nov. 28-30 at the Ritz.
These tournaments are held under the aegis of the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands and sponsored by PwC.
Spectators are always welcome at PwC junior tournaments.
More information about Tennis Federation events can be found on its Facebook page, or by calling tournament directors Rob Seward at the tennis club on 949-9464 or Thomas Neuert at The Ritz-Carlton on 323-0049.