Junior Tennis Tournament a Smashing Success

14 March 2024

Last Saturday we hosted our Spring term U11 junior tennis tournament, run across four age groups. A fantastic entry of 42 children took part and for the first time in our history we filled all seven courts with juniors all at the same time …. brimming with young talent and there was a lovely buzz in the Club. We saw some very close games too and great endeavour at all levels.

Mini Red Group One (ages 4 to 8)

Our youngest group competition was run by coaches Paul and Dave, with eight children testing their skills on a series of tasks. Points were gained for each task and all were presented with medals for their achievements. Katie scored the most points.

Mini Red Group Two (ages 6 to 8)

The more experienced red ball children were formed into two round robin groups overseen by coach Danny and our new assistant Zuzia. Each group had 6 children and they each played short matches of “first to 7 points”. Some of these matches were close and reached a sudden death point at 6-all. This event was spread across four mini courts, so we thank our additional helper staff and parents in ushering the kids around the courts, scoring the matches and relaying scores back to Danny at the helm.

At the end of the group stages the top four (Olivia, Matilda, Veer and Flo) progressed into play-off matches ….. All children continued to be matched up so that every child achieved a placement on the day and earned their medal. The final between Flo and Veer was a very close affair, with Flo narrowly winning 10-8. The 3rd and 4th place play-off between Matilda and Olivia was also close, with Matilda taking the spoils 7-4.

Orange Group (ages 8 to 11)

This was our largest group with 16 children formed into two groups of round robins, spread over three courts in the dome. Orange ball players play on a full width court area with a shortened baseline. This is the natural progression from Red ball, which is where all of these kids started in their earlier years. Coach Boglarka ran this event. Similar to the Red groups there were again some very close results with William, Florence, Millen and Baxter progressing from the groups. The final was played between William and Baxter, resulting in a cliffhanger 10-8 victory to William. The 3rd and 4th place play-off was a similar affair with Millen clinching a sudden death point to win 10-9.

Green Group (ages 9 to 11)

The Green ball stage is similar to Orange ball, the difference being that it is played on a full size tennis court with slightly faster balls. We had 5 players in this group, all with huge potential (Arka, Ben, Finlay, Isabelle and Theo) who were overseen by coach assistant Max Lovejoy. Matches were played in a single round robin group and the rallies in this event were epic! Ben was notable for his classic ‘lefty’ style. Some would say Nadal-like, or from an earlier era Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe. Who can remember? Arka’s pace of serve is amazing … almost unplayable at times. He won all his group games except one, narrowly losing a close fought head to head against Finlay … and it was these two boys who progressed to the final match. A superb final it was too. Played to a full championship tie-break (to 10 points), it was neck and neck to 7-all, but then Finlay’s relentless consistency and all-court game eventually saw him victorious at 10-7.

Congratulations to all the participants and we hope to see you at future tournaments. Thanks to the parents too for your support and cheering the children on. Your commitment to your children’s love of tennis is a vital part of their progress.

(Note: ages overlap depending on experience, pace of progress and ability).