By GEOFF TOBIN
LISMORE Tennis Centre Head Professional Ken Wray will be keeping his fingers crossed for the next four days, hoping the rain stays away for the Tennis Australia national ranking event being hosted by the club, from today.
The Lismore Open Age Championships is in its second year, with the cream of Australian juniors converging on the city for a chance to pick up national ranking points.
The showcase event also gives our talented local contingent a chance to pit their skills against the future faces of the Australian tennis scene.
Local players to watch out for include Lismore High School's second-seeded Luke Edwards in the 16 years boys and Trinity College girls Rosie McWilliam and Ellie Wray, who are seeded third and fourth, respectively, in the 14 years girls.
Casino's Mick Sherry is seeded in the 14 years boys and should put in a good showing.
Mullumbimby pocket rocket Stephen Gort (16 yrs boys) and Kristy Jones (14 yrs girls) will also be looking to claim scalps.
In the younger age groups Bryce Devlin should do well in the 12 years boys and Lennox Head's Zac Lyon could take out the 10 years boys.
The tournament is supported by a many local businesses, including the Lismore Workers Club and Lismore Council.
Tournament Director Ken Wray is hoping some of the FNC youngsters will provide a few upsets against more fancied opposition.
"Our kids should be playing under less pressure than many of the city kids who are under constant review to keep their State Squad places secure," Wray said.
"Country kids are generally a little more flamboyant than the heavily coached city kids anyway, and I know that when our better kids walk onto the court for this tournament they will be willing to take a few risks to get the job done."