Juniors court tennis future
AS the world's elite centre-courters prepare for a big Australian tour, some of the best juniors from near and far have just completed the prestigious 2005 Lismore Open Age Championships.
The five-day tournament, which utilised courts at the Lismore Tennis Club (11) and the East Lismore Tennis Club (4), brought about 300 players to town ? an increase in participation of roughly 25 per cent, according to tournament director Ken Wray.
The championships drew one family from Western Australia and a host of up-and-coming stars from the Northern Rivers, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.
Among strong competition, the locals to taste success included:
n Kristy Jones (Lismore), runner-up in the 14 years and under singles and doubles;
n Ellie Wray and Rosie McWilliam (both Lismore), who won the 16 years and under doubles;
n Luke Edwards (Lismore) who won a cliff-hanger of a singles final 7-6 5-7 10-8 after about two hours of high-quality competition with Gold Coaster Matt Hall in the 19 years and under division.
Wray said other juniors to have strong tournaments were Alstonville's Billy Bruce in the 14 years category and 12 years and under doubles semi-finalists Zac Lyons and Alex Hew, both from Lismore.
There's no rest for our best juniors either, who seem to thrive on a strong diet of intense competition: Luke Edwards, Luke Devlin, Ellie Wray and Rosie McWilliam had only just returned from defending their 17 years and under Queensland team title, defeating a strong Brisbane Metropolitan in the final, before the Lismore Age Championships began.