THE top young tennis players from the Bury St Edmunds area were joined by youngsters from as far away as London for the 84th annual West Suffolk Junior Tennis Tournament last week.
On what is usually a cricket field, 17 grass tennis courts were erected for the six-day event, sponsored by Glasswells, Ensors and the Bury Free Press.
Next year, the event is set to expand further to attract some of the top adult players from the region, but its final year as a juniors-only tournament was well received.
Organiser Susan Glasswell said: “There has been a wonderful family atmosphere. The numbers are about the same as they were last year, but the courts have played very well – they are in a much better condition than last year.
“The cricket club have excelled themselves this year in providing courts in an excellent condition.
“There has been a good standard of play and the sportsmanship of the players has been very good.”
The sportsmanship has been so good that three players were recognised for being particularly sporting.
Nathan Adams was handed the accolade, while Toby Rix was given a signed T-shirt by Lleyton Hewitt and Tom McLoughlin also specially mentioned.
The referee’s prize went to Anna Milbank for helping to organise the mini tennis.
On court, Culford’s Flora Hill was one of the top competitors, but she had to settle for two second places behind doubles partner Alice Hug (Shelford).
Hug was victorious in the under-18 girls’ singles round robin, finishing with three wins from three matches, and also defeated Hill 6-0, 6-4 in the under-16 girls’ singles final.
The pair teamed up to see off Woolpit’s Arianne and Dominique Dyball in the girls’ doubles final, 6-3, 6-1.
Edward Gee dominated the under-21 men’s tournaments, beating Exning’s James Swanson 7-5, 6-3 in the singles final.
Gee teamed up with Jamie Lau (Huntingdon) to see off Swanson and Exning team-mate Marco Mitev-Will 6-2, 6-1 in the doubles final.
However, Swanson was not to be beaten a third time as he partnered Stowmarket’s Maddy Davies to a 6-2, 6-0 victory in the under-21 mixed doubles showpiece, over Jamie and Jade Lau (Huntingdon).
Davies was the queen of the mixed doubles as she partnered William Nunn (Risbygate) to a three-set success over Harry Lawson (Risbygate) and Hannah Martin (Ipswich SC).
Holbrook’s Philippa Clarke claimed a hat-trick of accolades by battling to success in the under-12 and under-14 girls’ singles, as well as the under-12 girls’ doubles.
The singles consolation competitions proved to be a successful haven for players from local clubs who had been eliminated in the early stages of the main competition.
Risbygate’s Ross Slade and Harry Lawson, as well as Culford’s Nathan Adams, Tim Erimkhan, Anneli Aliaga and Joe Foulger overcame main draw defeats to make sure clubs from the Bury St Edmunds area took a clean sweep of the consolation events.