Juniors get a taste of Grand Slam fun

THE Australian Open came to David Lloyd Southend at the weekend as promising junior players recreated a Grand Slam-themed tournament.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic might have walked away with the title in Melbourne following a marathon duel with Rafael Nadal, but the 10 and under Mini All Star players at the Snakes Lane centre were determined to make a name for themselves.

On Saturday, the red and orange competitions took place with 25 red players and 12 orange players all competing to win points for the club’s leader board.

David Lloyd Southend junior tennis pro James Caldon said: “The quality of play, especially from the quarter finals onwards, in both tournaments was fantastic and it was great to see so many players having fun.

“Everyone went away having enjoyed a couple of hours of tennis and all the players are now eagerly awaiting the scores to be put up on the leader board to see where they are.

“There is already a buzz around the club about our very own French Open tournament at the start of June. But most players are waiting for, and wanting to win Wimbledon at the end of June!”

The red boy’s competition had 20 entries, the club’s biggest red boy’s tournament to date, with George Chapman and Anthony Weingarten making it through to the final.

George took a quick 2-0 lead in the first-to-seven points but Anthony came fighting back to win the first Grand Slam of the year 7-4.

The girls' red competition had five entries with each girl playing a round-robin in the group stage.

Florence Brellisford met Ananya Vartak in the final and won her first ever tournament, remaining undefeated throughout.

This was followed by the orange tournament with the final between Max Cole and Anthony Weingarten, who was on course to win his 13th straight match on the day after winning seven out of seven in the red tournament.

The day finished on a high for Anthony as he won his second tournament of the day 10-5.

The Grand Slam series will conclude with the US Open and the top eight players from the year in each colour will be entered into the club's end of season Masters event at the end of October.

The 10 and under green tournament was due to take place on Sunday but was cancelled due to the snow. The event has been rescheduled for later this month.

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