Cayman’s top young tennis players are hitting plenty of practice balls in the build-up to the Junior Masters Championships this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton.
The Masters will be the fifth and final PwC-sponsored tournament of 2014.
Only the top eight players in each of the four age divisions (18&U, 14&U, 12&U and 10&U) are initially eligible. If any of the top eight cannot play, then immediately lower-ranked players are invited to join the tournament.
Players had until Wednesday to accept their invitations from the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands for this leading event.
Cayman’s top junior, Daniel Reid, who celebrated his 16th birthday in September, has confirmed his attendance.
Reid is not only Cayman’s top junior and 18&U defending national champion, he is one of the islands’ best players, with trophies galore to prove it.
In May he reached both the singles and the doubles finals of the Cayman Islands Tennis Club Championships.
And in July he made the round of 16 in the 18&U qualifying draw of the Jamaica Junior International tournament, which draws top juniors from all over the Caribbean.
Reid is likely to be pushed by the fast improving Callum Theaker, who is only 14. He has only been playing seriously for a couple of years but made impressive progress.
Other leading confirmed players include Oskar Bjuro, 10, and his brother Sebastian, 8.
Oskar holds the No. 1 ranking in the 10&U division. Jack Lomax, the 12&U No. 1, has also accepted his invitation. With nine matches won and none lost in three PwC tournaments this season, he looks set to scoop the Masters Championships and be crowned the PwC 12&U junior circuit champion of 2014.
“It’s really hard to believe how good some of our juniors are,” said Eliza Harford, Tennis Federation chief. “I would urge members of the public to come down to the courts at the Ritz-Carlton this weekend and see for themselves the incredibly impressive standard of play.”
Harford added that she has been playing tennis for 40 years and “I wouldn’t fancy my chances on court against any of these children, not even those in the 10&U group. They’re ferocious, and they’re consistent.”
Play is likely to start around 11 a.m. this Saturday.