Young tennis aces give Bognor a healthy outlook

The junior boys line-up at Bognor LTC
The junior boys line-up at Bognor LTC

ON A gloriously sunny day at Bognor Tennis Club, there were 13 entrants for the 2013 junior tournament.

The age range was eight to 14, which put five of them - one girl and four boys - into the mini orange group and the other eight - two girls and six boys - into the junior group.

The day started with the mini orange singles event. All five children were placed into a round-robin group, allowing each to play a short match against every other child in the group.

The winner and runner-up were determined by the number of wins or, if there was a draw on wins, the number of games and points won.

Harry Prior and Daniel Powell tied on three wins each but Prior was declared the winner by just one point.

The two entrants in the junior girls’ singles, sisters Hannah and Lucie West, had begun to play a best-of-three-sets match. Hannah won the first set reasonably easily, but Lucie fought back to win the second and force a decider. The final set was the closest of the three but Hannah emerged as winner by 3-2.

The six junior boys’ match format was also timed games against each of the other boys. When all the results were added to the scoresheet it became clear that there was a tie for first place - between James Porter and Louis Smith, who had both won four out of five matches.

In a repeat of the mini orange result, only one point separated these two boys and Porter was declared the winner and presented with the gold medal, while Smith received the silver. Further bronze medals were awarded to Toby Buck in third and Ben Skinner in fourth.

The singles were followed by two more relaxed doubles events. With only five mini orange players, the format chosen was for each player to pair up with every other player in the group and play a series of 15-minute games against another variably-formed pairing. The winner, with nine games, was Josh Petworth, the runner-up Harry Prior.

In the junior doubles, which had eight players, each pair played a 15-minute round against the other three pairs. The winners, with 10.5 games, were Toby Buck and Brodie Keates; runners-up were Hannah West and Louis Smith.

Throughout the day, the standard of play and sportsmanship exhibited by all participants was impressive and bodes well for the future of tennis in the Bognor area.