Minis take centre stage

TENNIS: The second day of the Felixstowe Junior Tennis Tournament saw the introduction of three transition competitions for age groups ranging from eight-and-under to 10-and-under.


THE second day of the Felixstowe Junior Tennis Tournament saw the introduction of three transition competitions for age groups ranging from eight-and-under to 10-and-under.

In the eight-and-under age group the competitors play in a tournament known as Red Mini-Tennis, which is held on an indoor badminton court with a spongy ball, as they contest a round-robin of tie-break matches.

The nine-and-under section is known as Orange Mini-Tennis and is played on an outdoor threequarter court with a low compression ball. This is also a round-robin event and each match is played up to 10 points.

The 10-and-under age group then move on a step further as they play on full courts with a ball that is halfway between low compression and standard. This competition is known as Green Mini-Tennis and is new to the tournament this year.

All of these competitions have been introduced to ease young players into the full sport.

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Each tournament is played to points rather than games, but due to the spongy balls used there are often long rallies and over a period of five matches they are given a decent amount of playing time.

The low compression balls in the older age-groups mean they don't bounce as high as standard tennis balls and also move more slowly through the air, which allows the players to move up a level from the spongy ball but still enjoy lengthy rallies.

These competitions not only allow players to slowly get used to the full game, but help with the improvement of their technique.

This occurs not only through the longer rallies due to the spongy balls used, but as a result of being able to hit the ball harder without the fear of it flying out of court every time.

The eight-and-under age group saw Toby Mann win after defeating Charlie King in the boys' section, while Eleanor Stevens took the girls' title by defeating Lydia Green.

The finals in the other age groups will be played on Saturday at The Brackenbury Sports Centre, which is where the matches were held yesterday.

Morrison Freight and Cavandish Freight have helped the competitions to go ahead through their sponsorship.



12-and-Under Singles first round: A Watling bt D Clarke 6-0 6-0, D Fewkes bt J Cunningham 6-2 6-0, J Bloomfield bt J Carr 6-4 6-1, M Heal-Cohen bt B Wright 6-4 6-0, A Beynon bt G Bacon 6-1 6-1, T Lamming bt W Shephard 6-0 6-4.

Second round: A Watling bt D Fewkes 6-0 6-4, J Bloomfield bt M Vousdenn 6-0 6-7 6-2, A Beynon bt M Heal-Cohen 6-1 6-3, T Osmanski bt T Lamming 6-0 6-1.

14-and-Under Singles second round: O Mendoza bt M Heal-Cohen 6-3 6-1.

Second round: M Hough bt N Drewry 6-0 6-0, B Roberts-Law bt O Mendoza 6-0 6-0, A Watling bt D Fewkes 6-0 6-2.

16-and-Under Singles first round: L Hensby bt M Bollons 6-4 4-6 6-3, L Austin bt H Hutchison 6-3 7-6, M Taylor bt D Stephens 7-5 6-2, T Perry bt J Maclean 6-4 7-5, W Harrison bt O Mendoza 6-0 6-0, S Godfrey bt B Fowler 6-4 2-6 6-0, M Fretwell bt S Morris 6-1 3-6 6-0, D Doleman bt M Hartley 6-1 6-1.

Second round: S Gould bt L Hensby 6-1 6-0, L Austin bt A Purser 6-1 6-0, M Hough bt M Taylor 6-2 6-0, J Hazlewood bt S Godfrey 6-1 6-2, M Cooper bt M Fretwell 6-2 6-3, B Roberts-Law bt T Harris 6-0 6-1, D Walters bt D Doleman 6-0 6-1.

18-and-Under Singles second round: J Hazlewood bt D Walters 6-1 6-1, R Daniels bt T Perry 7-5 6-0, C Lovett bt M Cooper 6-1 6-3, K Mee bt D Doleman 6-1 6-3, S Gould bt A Barclay 6-1 6-0.

Third round: S Gould bt M Taylor 7-5 6-4.


12-and-Under singles second round: K Sherington bt S Lockett 6-1 6-1, R White bt H Hudson 7-5 7-6.