Theaker ends PwC series as junior champ after tough year

The PwC Junior Tennis Circuit came to a close at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club last week, ending a marvellous year that saw the youngsters make significant progress – and Callum Theaker can proudly claim to be the top junior. 

Cayman’s top junior tennis players have competed all year to be invited to play in the year-end PwC Invitational Junior Circuit tournament, to see which one would climb to the top of the rankings. 

The Cayman Islands Tennis Club in South Sound hosted all five PwC Junior Circuit tournaments this year. 

The top eight juniors from each age division were invited to participate in the final. 

“The Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands thanks PwC in their seventh year for supporting such a terrific circuit for the juniors of Cayman,” said head coach Rob Seward. 

“It has been one of the major building blocks for the support of tennis on the Island as well as Cayman’s juniors.” 

In the 10 and under division, Jakub Neveril, who was consistent throughout the year in winning all but one tournament, came on top again beating an improved Ben Stainrod in a tough three setter 6-7, 6-4, 10-5. 

In the 12 and unders, Jack Lomax defeated Lauren Fullerton 4-6, 6-1, 15-13 to take the tough final. 

Harrison Clough, the No. 1 14 and under defeated Calum Lindsay 6-2, 6-0 in the finals. 

Theaker defeated Jade Wilkinson 6-4, 6-1 in the 18 and under championship. 

As this was the final PwC Invitational tournament of the year, there were also many other awards, the top ones going to Jakub Neveril (under 10s), Lauren Fullerton (under 12s), Harrison Clough (under 14s) and Callum Theaker (under 18s). 

The most improved player of the year was Zach Jackson who came third in the 10 and unders. 

The best sportsmanship award went to Lauren Fullerton for her fun and positive attitude. 

The third presentation was the Paul Howard Award. Howard was a terrific junior tennis player who spent all his spare hours at the club and was one of Cayman’s best players, even attending tennis camp in the United States. 

He worked very hard for what he earned and was loved for everything he did on the court and off the court. 

Howard was a fine young man that would sit in the clubhouse and try to find a game, talk to the adults and other juniors and simply just loved tennis. “Unfortunately, he died aged 14 due to an illness,” Seward said. “Cayman cannot forget people like Paul Howard as he is one that inspired so many during his time and no one will ever forget his fantastic smile.” The Paul Howard Award was presented to Jake Serpell. 

Seward said, “It has been consecutive weeks that the Cayman Islands Tennis Club has teamed up with the Tennis Federation of Cayman to host an international event and then a national event while seeing the inspiration of junior tennis grow across the Cayman Islands.” 

He feels the PwC junior tournaments are the feeding grounds in producing the best tennis players in Cayman. 

“It is fantastic that Cayman now has 30 juniors that participate in these tournaments all year long so that all of the juniors can further their dreams and maybe get some type of tennis scholarship in the future,” Seward said. “Tennis is a sport for a lifetime and there is no reason why we shouldn’t get more kids out to enjoy the sport.” 

Callum Theaker
Callum Theaker has improved considerably this year. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD