You know what they say – start them young. Twenty-one competitors from as young as 6 years old came along and gave it a go on a bright and sunny Saturday. For most, it was their first competitive environment. Regardless of the result, all the entrants played lots of matches and got better and more fired up with each round!
Since it was the first time for many to compete, we split everyone into two categories – orange and yellow ball. In the first stage, the Orange Ball group played in a 15-minute round robin format within their age group. Following on from the first stage, each group had a first place, second place and third place where they were split into another pool for a second round of 15-minute matches.
Every budding tennis player played 5 to 6 different players and got a taste of calling the shots in or out and scoring points with the assistance of an umpire (coach).
Congratulations to Penny Li, who won Orange Ball Singles over runner-up Harrison Tran. It was tough considering the size of the orange court and the age gap between the two. The most important part? Both players rallied for than 5 shots on each point and looked for open space – thinking strategically!
Yellow Ball kids played best of 3 sets to 4 games in a round robin format too. Both pools of competitors tried their best to hold their own serve and attack their opponent’s second serve.
Christopher Owen took Alex Qiu to 3 sets in the first round. It wasn’t easy to apply pressure with the wind picking up and blowing many balls away from their striking zone.
Newcomers and first-time competitors Elroy Jin, Ethan Chen and Harshith Kollareddy left it all out there on the courts and they all became smarter competitors afterwards.
The competition proved to be a good indicator of how each player adjusts against various styles and levels of players. Each round also tested their determination and endurance to complete the matches as the day went on – especially for doubles!
Doubles was fun and in the Orange Group, a younger player was paired up with an older player. Teams couldn’t afford to by shy with each other – we saw some come out of their shell and get hyped up with lots of “Yes!” and “come on’s!”
Yellow Ball Doubles Winner: Owen Leung & Christopher Mok
Yellow Ball Doubles Runner Up: Ethan Chen & Savya Prajapati
Orange Ball Doubles Winner: Penny Li & Olivia Clark
Orange Ball Doubles Runner Up: Lara Al-Baghadadi & Bryan Zhang
We saw new friendships form. We heard lots of cheering, albeit a few tears but all in good spirits. And we felt the energy from all the parents and participants. Congratulations to everyone who came out to compete.