©istockphoto.com/Michael Flippo

Juniors to fill up the tennis ranks

AROUND 230 junior tennis players will descend on Lismore today as part of the Optus Junior Tour.

With the competition offering players in the 12, 14 and 16 years age divisions the chance to improve their Australian ranking, players from as far away as Western Australia and Victoria will be playing in the event held at the Lismore Tennis Club.

Lismore Tennis Club coach and manager John Stoddart said the event was a drawcard for up-and-coming juniors looking to gain more ranking points.

“There are a lot of these ranking tournaments throughout the country, which give kids an opportunity to improve their rankings,” he said.

“The chance to win more points is a big incentive.”

Stoddart said the quality of junior players will be high.

“We’ve got a good base of people coming,” he said. “There will be a lot of good juniors there, though there isn’t a great deal of local juniors.”

Stoddart said the event would also offer under-10 and under-18 tournaments which didn’t offer ranking points for those who just wanted to get more game time and get more experience.

Gameplay is also set to improve as players will be testing out the newly resurfaced hardcourts.

Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell officially opened the courts yesterday in anticipation of the tournament.

“The Lismore City Council provided a substantial grant to get the courts re-surfaced,” Stoddart said.

“If it wasn’t for the council, this project never would have happened.”

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