Six out of the nine junior tennis players from Cayman who competed in Kingston, Jamaica, earlier this month returned home with trophies.
The juniors, who have played and trained at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club with coaches Dale Avery and Rob Seward, participated in the Blue Mountain Caribbean Open and the ITF/Central American & Caribbean Tennis Confederation regional tournaments.
The nine juniors were: Boys 12 and Under, Jack Lomax, Oskar Bjuro, Sebastian Bjuro, Jakub Neveril and Jake Serpell; Boys 14U, Harrison Clough and Nealdeep Ghosh; Boys 16U, Callum Theaker; and Girls 14U, Lauren Fullerton.
This year the Blue Mountain tournament had 88 juniors participate from Cayman, Jamaica, Guyana, St. Lucia and Antigua, while the ITF/COTECC tournament saw nearly 100 juniors from all over the world.
This was the fifth annual Blue Mountain tournament, and Cayman has participated in all five. The team event had four countries represented; Cayman, Jamaica, Guyana and St. Lucia. This year, Cayman’s team consisted of two newcomers and one veteran player. Callum Theaker, Jack Lomax and Harrison Clough took on Guyana in the first round, with Cayman winning easily. Callum won his match 6-0, 6-0, while Jack Lomax, playing out of his element, beat someone twice his size, 6-2, 6-1 to reach the final against Jamaica.
Jamaica’s more experienced team beat the Cayman team to capture their fifth consecutive team title.
Cayman dominated the Boys 12U age group from the start. Jakub, Cayman’s youngest player at 9 years old, played a fantastic consolation final, beating a 6-foot Guyanese player, Devine Kalekyezi, 6-2, 6-1.
In the semifinals, Cayman had three out of the four representing the age category. Oskar Bjuro defeated Matthew James of Jamaica to face countryman Jack Lomax, who defeated Jake Serpell. At the end, Jack defeated Oskar in the final to capture his first Blue Mountain singles title.
Jack ended up being the youngest player that Cayman has ever slotted in the team event.
In the Girls 14U division, Lauren Fullerton had to go through a talented Jamaican and Guyanese draw to make it to the finals. She came second to Jenna Harrison in the 14U and lost to Jamaica’s No. 1, Mikeala Stephens, in the semifinals of the 16U age group.
The following week, Callum Theaker stayed to participate in the Boys 18U and Lauren Fullerton participated in the 14U. Unfortunately, Callum was injured during training and had to withdraw.
Lauren defeated two of the three of her opponents, losing again to the No. 1 Jamaican player, Makeala Stephens, in the round robin.