Some of Cayman’s best tennis talent is in Jamaica this week competing in two regional tournaments.
The Cayman Islands Tennis Club’s manager and head pro Rob Seward has been in Kingston since the weekend with the nine youngsters.
This is the third straight year that Cayman is competing. Daniel Reid, Callum Theaker, Matthew Barnett and Jade Wilkinson are there again, with newcomers Jake Serpell, brothers Bobby and Jack Lomax, Lauren Fullerton and Neildeep Ghosh.
“I am very excited for our juniors for these great tournaments,” Seward said. “It is a great experience for all of them and it is great to see the increase in participants as only five went last year.”
The Blue Mountain Junior Caribbean Regional Tennis Championships is first before the International Tennis Federation Junior Regional Tournament.
It will be a tough task for the Cayman players to do well enough to qualify for the second tournament because they face the Caribbean’s top juniors from as well as elite players from the U.S.
Theaker last year was able to qualify in the 14 and under division and aims for that chance again. Wilkinson, who did not try to qualify last year, is favored to make the main draw this time in the 14s, while Reid will be in the toughest division in the under 18s.
Seward said it is a critical part of the juniors’ development to play in these types of tournaments.
“The Cayman Islands Tennis Club has always tried to encourage this amongst our juniors,” said Seward. “All of the pros at the club are very proud of juniors that have made it overseas to participate in tournaments and we are very fortunate to have them train all year round.”
The Blue Mountain Championships finishes on Friday at The Liguanea Club, with the individual age divisions as well as the team competition. The second tournament is on Saturday and Sunday.
“Last year the Cayman Islands came second for the team competition behind Jamaica so this year of course we will be hoping to take the top spot,” Seward said.
He added that they expect tough competition from Barbados, Trinidad, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Bahamas and the hosts, but are well prepared.
Seward added, “I would like to thank the parents in making their sacrifices for their children to experience this exciting tournament and assisting with costs. I also thank Alison Lomax and Steve Surrey for assisting with traveling with me and the players too.”