Youngsters show off skills

Serena Bryan in action yesterday.

The island’s future tennis stars were in action at the National Tennis Centre yesterday during the Barbados Tennis Association’s annual Tennis 10’s Festival.

Sponsored by Island Heritage, DaCosta Mannings and Powerade, more than 70 male and female players, between the ages of seven and 10, contested the third annual tournament in three divisions.†

Players of varying skill levels were divided into red-ball, orange-ball, and green-ball categories and engaged in several exciting matches on the mostly modified hard courts at Wildey.

While the green-ball players fought their battles on regular-sized courts, the orange-ball and red-ball players competed on reduced courts in single-set matches.

The red-ball division proved to be particularly exciting with 30 boys and 14 girls exhibiting their skills in several preliminary matches, before some keenly contested play-offs.

From the early rounds, eight-year-old Aaron Jones of Providence Primary and seven-year-old Serena Bryan of West Terrace Primary appeared to be among the most promising players and went to win their divisions.

While Jones showed awareness of a crafty net game, attacking the net to subdue his opponents, Bryan produced some well-placed baseline shots as she stopped her opponents with a telling forehand.†In all more than 150 matches, playing to 7, 9 and 11 points, were contested during the Tennis 10’s Festival and players were cheered on by parents, coaches and supporters.

Assistant secretary† of the Barbados Tennis Association, Margot Thomson said the tournament was modelled after the ITF’s Play and Stay international† programme and was a tremendous success.

“There was great participation and everyone was a winner. We want to encourage all the young ones to keep playing as they will all get better,” said Thomson, also a retired teacher.††

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