It was a big moment for Sebastian Bjuro when he fought through a really close match to win his first-ever PwC tournament title over the weekend.
Bjuro, 8, has been playing in the 10&U division of the PwC circuit for the past two years. On Saturday at the Tennis Club in South Sound, he was quietly delighted with his breakthrough. He has put in a lot of work to get to this point: “About two hours a day of lessons and practicing, five or six days a week,” he said.
His main coach is Dale Avery at the Tennis Club. The Cayman Prep Year-4 pupil is also a member of the junior tennis elite squad.
Bjuro’s opponent in the final was the seemingly indomitable Jakub Neveril, who had not lost a match in the previous two PwC tournaments this year, and still stands No. 1 in the national rankings in the 10&U age group despite Saturday’s loss. Bjuro stays at No. 2.
Bjuro’s win may intensify the rivalry between the two over the coming months, with his confidence boosted by his 1-6, 6-4, 10-8 victory.
Neveril, also 8, is in the year below Bjuro at Prep, and a fellow member of the elite squad. He joined the PwC circuit late last year, having started to play intensely in early 2014, said his mother Gabriela. “Jakub does not like losing and he loves competitions, so these PwC tournaments are great for him, he really looks forward to them,” she said. His main coach at the Tennis Club is pro Rob Seward.
Finishing third and fourth, respectively, in the 10&U section were Holly McLean and Zack Jackson.
In the 12&U division of the tournament, Jack Lomax, 10, yet again emerged triumphant from a big field of contestants, edging out Lauren Fullerton in a hotly contested final. Lomax, who combines well-controlled aggression with consistency, remains unbeaten this year in any PwC tournament. Losing semifinalists were Jake Booker and Caden Stradling, with Stradling posting a 6-1, 6-2 win over Booker in the third-place play-off.
Stradling’s performance was notable: He beat No. 2 seed Alex Claybourn in the quarterfinals.
Harrison Clough is another Prep pupil. He showed no signs of feeling the shoulder injury that kept him out of the last tournament, and ripped through the opposition in the 14&U division.
Clough, who is 11, breezed past Neildeep Ghosh before meeting Calum Lindsay in the final. Clough took the match 6-2, 6-3. Ghosh came in third with a 6-2, 7-5 win over a feisty Jenny Purton.
Pitted against one another in the 18&U final, watched by a big crowd of junior players and parents, were No. 2 ranked Callum Theaker and No. 1 Daniel Reid.
With both players among the best in Grand Cayman, their clash did not disappoint, characterized by punishing ground strokes, long rallies and some very impressive winners.
Reid won in two sets (6-3, 7-5), though Theaker was unlucky not to take the second set after an early break.
Tournament director was Ilian Nachev, a pro at the Tennis Club. The PwC junior circuit is run by volunteer board members of the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands, with the help of local pros.
See www.tfci.ky for tournament scores, national rankings and details of the TFCI’s assorted programs.