By Trevor Jackson
LAKES Junior tennis was in the spotlight on Sunday, with a bronze ranking tournament held in the region.
The Australian ranking tournament took place at Olympic Park and the Mount Gambier Tennis Club, with around 100 playing participating from regional South Australia, Adelaide, regional Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, along with around 50pc of players from the South East region.
The young players have the chance to travel around the country much like a professional tour to gather ranking point but only a handful from the Limestone Coast take up the opportunity.
To have a national ranking tournament in the region provides the chance to compete at a high level for those players who may not normally travel away.
Previously Mount Gambier has hosted both gold and silver tournaments.
Tournament director Cassie Edwards said the bronze tournament was well received and a great opportunity for the region’s young stars.
“Our local players performed well on Sunday,” she said.
“They played some good matches against much higher-ranked players.
“It was a great experience for our local players to play against kids of a greater standard and to see what the next level is all about.
“It helps them to decide if they want to do that in the future, to improve their tennis and travel around to play these tournaments.”
Players who lost in the first round of matches had the chance to play off in a consolation draw, with many of the Limestone Coast players performing well at that level.
Several from the region also finished in the playoffs for third and fourth in the main draw.
In the 16 and Under girls singles Emily Jolley defeated Madison Kelly for the third place in the main draw, while Poppy Moyle-Read won her consolation final against Jorja Douglas.
Zayne Young finished third in the 16 and Under boys draw after defeating fellow Limestone Coast player Joel Childs, while Shaunn Robinson was runner-up in the consolation final.
Fergus Kentish and Toby Stutley played off in the 14 and Under boys consolation final, with Stutley claiming the honours in an epic three-set match.
In the 12 and Under girls, Ella Jolley finished fourth in the main draw, while Tegan Lythgo won the consolation final and Henry Kentish finished third in the 10 and Under boys division.