For the second year running Halton Tennis Centre hosted a prestigious Aegon Tennis Europe 16 & Under tournament alongside the Everyball International Academy Grade 3 Junior tournament last week. This year saw a larger entry than last year due to the increase in the number of age categories. There were 298 entries of which of which there were 249 players involved both in singles and doubles events, an increase of 104 players compared to last year. The U16 Tennis Europe Event also attracted a larger base of European and Foreign players than last year with players coming from Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Malta, Sweden, Bulgaria, France and Argentina.
The Boys TE U16’s final was an all British affair between no 1 seed Julian Cash (Sussex,TE ranking 24 and runner up last year) and qualifier Cameron Hawkins (Kent). This time Julian went a step further winning convincingly 6-2 6-0. The boys doubles however was won by the German/Bulgarian pair of Joey Johannes Hillebrand and Kaloyan Mihalyov beating by a walkover the Maltese brothers Bernard & Matthew Cassar Torregiani in the final.
The Girl’s TE U16’s final was again an all British battle between Hertfordshire's Anna Popescu (no 8 seed & Wildcard) and Hannah Brett (no4 seed) with Anna Popescu's more aggressive play, edging her through to a 6-1 6-2 victory. The girls doubles was between British pair Alice Patch (Halton) & Cecily Wuenscher and German/Russian pair of Nika Hein and Anastasia Prokhodimova with the British pair eventually winning a feisty match 6-2 4-6 10-5.
Following her Tennis Europe success Anna Popescu from Berkhamsted's Elite Academy featured in 2 more singles finals. In the Everyball International Grade 3 U14’s singles Anna beat Chloe Halliday (Surrey) in a very tight match 4-6 6-4 10-7. She followed this up by completing a clean sweep when she won the U18’s girls singles final, beating Halton's Alice Patch 6-2 6-4.
The rest of the age-group finals were dominated by players from Halton Tennis Centre. The U8’s event was won by Joel James winning his round robin group by 1 point! Halton's Joshua Bright was runner-up (pictured below).
The U9’s boys was won by Angus Whittam (Halton) beating William Daniel (Truro LTC Cornwall) 7-3 7-4 in the final.
The U9’s girls was won by Lara Hill (Halton) beating Natalya Ogunwale (Gosling Tennis Centre, Hertfordshire) 4-7 7-4 11-9 in a hard fought contest.
The U10’s boys was won by Daniel Martin (Hertfordshire &Letchworth Tennis Club) beating Daniel Dean (Buckinghamshire and Halton) 4-0 4-1.
The U10’s girls was played between Britney De Silva (Gosling Tennis Centre & Middlesex) & Indu Ragunather (Buckinghamshire & Halton) with Indu coming out on top in a hard fought battle winning 2-4 4-1 10-7.
The U12’s boy’s final was another thriller with Roberto Preka no2 seed (Islington Tennis Centre & Middlesex) beating Jack Molloy no1 seed (Halton & Buckinghamshire) in an epic final 6-2 4-6 16-14 . The boys doubles was won by Jake Williams & Alex Chan (both Halton players) winning both matches in the group event.
The U12’s girls final was played between No. 1 seed Amelia Campbell (Langley Tennis Club) and Vaishali Jorge (Middlesex) with Amelia winning 6-3 6-1. The girls doubles final was won by Britney De Silva (Gosling Tennis Centre & Middlesex) & Mandi Furaji (Middlesex) beating Halton's Lauren Armstrong & Poppy King 6-2 6-2.
The boys U14’s finals was between the top 2 seeds from Hertfordshire when Benjamin Wood (no1 seed) beat Charles Broom (no2 seed) 6-1 6-4. The boys doubles was an all-Halton affair when Thomas Schmidt & Oliver Levi beat Jack Clark & Oscar Glenister 6-0 6-1.
The U18’s boy’s singles was between Adam Chan (Halton) and Aleksandr Ernepesov (no1 seed) with Ernespesov confirming his status and winning 7-6 6-1. The boys doubles was won by James Gammell & Gavin McKinlay (Halton ) who beat Jack Mordey (Halton) & Harry Mabbit (Bedfordshire) 7-5 6-1.
In conclusion, it was once again a very enjoyable week, full of quality tennis and memorable matches. Tournament Director, Phil Hill expressed his gratitude to all the volunteers, staff, officials, referees, parents and in particular the players for making this a successful tournament in its 2nd year and looked forward to making the event even more of a success next year.
(Report by Camilla Hayward)