Junior tennis players battled extreme heat and exhaustion as well as opponents at last weekend’s PwC tournament.
There were big fields in the 10U and 12U sections – their first PwC tournament at the Cayman Island Tennis Club in South Sound.
Jakub Neveril was the No. 1 seed in the 10U, and had a 6-2, 7-5 win over Sebastian Bjuro in the final.
Bjuro, the No. 2 seed, had a tough semifinal against third-seed Ben Stainrod. They went to set-all before Bjuro took it in a 10-point tie-break. Ben Stainrod and Zach Jackson, the other semifinalist who did not reach the finals, had a mammoth match for third place, with Stainrod squeaking through with a 10-7 win in the tie-break.
Newcomers to the PwC junior circuit were Cameron Mackay, Jake Fagan, Sam McLean, Rafael Wejbora, Jackson Mackay and Jay Jackson in the 10U division.
All performed well in their first-round matches. Jackson Mackay scored 4-6, 1-6 in his second-round clash with Bjuro.
Jay Jackson lost by the narrowest of margins to Jackson Mackay in the first round, so he may prove another youngster to follow.
Sam McLean also did well in the opening round, eventually going down to the more experienced Grace Beighton 4-6, 5-7.
Wejbora played well against the more experienced Holly McLean, and Jake Fagan, knocked out in the first round, storming his way through to win the 10U consolation draw.
In the 12Us, No. 1 seed Lauren Fullerton swept all before her, brushing past Jake Serpell in the semis and then Oscar Bjuro in the final.
Alex Claybourn lost to Bjuro in the semis, but then went on to beat a tired Serpell for third place.
A total of 10 players competed. Missing was Jack Lomax, currently ranked No. 2 in Cayman in this age group, as he elected to play in the 14U age group.
Lomax, 10, excelled in the 14U semifinal against Calum Lindsay. Their closely contested battle ended in Lomax’s favor, 6-4, 7-5, and he went on to meet Harrison Clough in the final.
Clough, 12, the top-ranked player in this age group, did not find Lomax in his usual fine form, and took an easy win.
In the 18U division, the contestants were Graeme Hill, Jade Wilkinson and Callum Theaker.
Wilkinson, 15 and one of the top female players on island, dismissed Hill before clashing with Theaker in the final. Theaker cruised through, with Wilkinson not producing her best tennis.
The final PwC tournament of the year, the PwC Master’s, will be held at the Tennis Club on Nov. 13-15.
The top four players in each age group are invited to compete by the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands, which runs the PwC circuit with the support of Grand Cayman’s tennis pros.
For more information, visit www.tfci.ky.