Juniors show vets their potential

The Cayman Islands Tennis Club in South Sound had some great action last week with most of the final matches taking place on Friday and Saturday.

This year’s club championships saw a lot of the juniors showing their potential and competing against club veterans.

The club championships is the only tournament that is solely for Cayman Islands Tennis Club members. Although some of the past club champions were unable to participate due to travel or work, the tournament was still extremely competitive and entertaining.

The men’s side ended up seeing the two Reid brothers in the final. Marc, 19, who is now back on island during his school break, had to get past previous club champs, Paolo Polloni and Paul Claybourn before reaching the final against sibling Daniel, 15.

Marc won in a hot and tough final on Saturday, 6-3, 7-5. Daniel, presently the No. 1 ranked player in the 18 and under division, played a great tournament by beating Mike Fullerton for the first time in the semifinals.

On the women’s side, another junior, Jade Wilkinson, had a terrific week as well. The 13-year-old got past previous club champions and won the round robin ladies division.

She had some tough matches against Carrol Reid and Marian Goodall to take her first club title.

Wilkinson also won in the mixed doubles division by teaming up with one of the club’s pros, Adam Bayley, who is her coach as well.

They played a great final on Saturday against Eva Jacques and Nigel Mitten. The match was very entertaining and close, with Jade and Adam winning 6-2, 7-5. This Wednesday, Wilkinson and Eva Jacques will play their women’s doubles match against Sara Gregson and Danica Treadwell to see if she can achieve the hat-trick.

The men’s doubles final was between youth and experience. Mike Bonikowski and Fullerton showed the Reid brothers that experience is still a great tool in life.

The vets beat the teenagers 7-5, 6-2. In the semifinals, the winners had to beat Dale Avery and Harrison Clough in a tight match. Avery, another club coach, teamed up with one of his students, Harrison Clough, who is another promising talent.

Club head coach Rob Seward said, “It was a marvellous tournament and great seeing all the juniors compete against some of the vets. All of these juniors have worked on their tennis games a lot and be going to Jamaica this summer and compete in two tournaments for two weeks in July.”

Seward will be taking about 10 juniors to Kingston to compete in the Blue Mountain Junior Championships and The International Tennis Federation Junior Championship tournaments for the third consecutive year.

He added, “In the past, it is always a great tournament to get more experience for our juniors and to compete overseas. And it is great to have twice as many kids go this year as well.”

Seward said the Cayman Islands Tennis Club continues to work with the island’s most talented juniors and the coaches are proud of all of their juniors that continue to work hard on their game.

The Cayman Islands Tennis Club will be offering summer camps at the club. The following week schedule is for all juniors 6-17 years of age: July 14, July 21, July 28, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11.

For more information, contact the club at [email protected]