ALTC Junior Open 2009

The LTA An LTA Grade 4 Tournament
Tournament code OXF101

The Abingdon Lawn Tennis Club 2009 Open Tournament took place from Monday 10th to Saturday 15th August. The Open is a Grade 4 LTA tournament for juniors, with competitions for age groups from Under 10 to Under 18. This year the junior finals were played on Friday and the Family Doubles competition was played on Saturday. The final Order of Play, the Draws and results and a Photo gallery of the finalists have now been posted on this web site. They may be accessed using the buttons at the left.

Some of the Finalists
A Group of the 2009 Finalists with Referee, Julia Freeman

For the first time since 2006, the Open has been blessed with fine weather for most of the week, with only 20 minutes play being lost during the whole week! All the main draw and consolation matches were completed by the end of play on Friday. It was a pleasant change for organisers, parents and player from the cold and wet weather we suffered last year. The number of entries (157) was approximately the same as last year, with an increase in the number of boys but a decline in the number of girl entries. Hopefully the girls be back again in larger numbers next year!

Henry Milroy and Alex Locock-Harrison The largest draws were for the u14 and u16 boys singles, and these produced a number of close matches. The first of these was in the u16bs on Monday, where Alex Locock-Harrison and Henry Milroy had an epic battle that finally came to a close 16-14 in the match tie break! Patrick Nagle has the unfortunate distinction of losing two very close matches in the u14bs, where single points could have changed the outcome. In his first main draw match against Antony Norman, he came back from 7-1 down to lead 8-7 in the match tie-break, only to finally lose 12-10. He easily reached the plate semi-finals, and looked set for another win after taking the first set 6-0 against Freddie Locock-Harrison. However, Freddie fought back to take the second set on the tie break and then a close match tie-break 10-8. The most consistent u14 boys player of the week was Peter Honey, who won the u14bs and (with Freddie Locock-Harrison) the u14bd without dropping a set.

Andrew Cooper receiving trophy Harrison Ridge dominated the u10 boys singles with the power and accuracy associated with much older players. In the u12 boys singles, the 1 and 2 seeds were untroubled to the final, but Luke Scofield raised his game for an emphatic win to love in the final. Perhaps having a chair umpire for the final affected the two players games in different ways. Andrew Cooper was the deserved u16 boys champion. He patiently sat around for most of the first day after a no-show by his first opponent, but then proceeded to overwhelm higher-ranked player with quality tennis throughout the week. He was worthy winner against strong opposition from Lawrence Best in the final. Lawrence had some recompense later in the finals day by beating Orlando Lloyd in the u18bs. In that match, Orlando failed to find the accuracy that had led him to beat Zenor Neldor and Stephen Piddock in earlier rounds.

Play on Finals Day There were strong players in the u12 girls singles with all four seeds easily getting through to the semifinals. Unfortunately, the first seed, Georgia Lawson, had to withdraw due to injury, giving a walk-over to Rebecca Carman. The second seed, Molly Line, proved too strong for Rebecca in the final. The u14 girls singles final was a battle of the Alices, with Alice Atkins justifying her number 1 seeding in the final. Alice Johns had won through a close first round match against Gemma Pearson 10-8 in the match tie-break and had another close match against Jessica Oakhill, but was unable to cope with Alice Atkins powerful play in the final. Gemma Pearson had the consolation of winning the plate competition.

Lauren and  Shani holding 'ballgirl' In the u16 and u18 girls singles, Lauren Hill again showed the high class tennis that had brought her winner trophies in the 2007 and 2008 Opens. In the exciting u18gs final she reversed the u16gs result of two years ago against Samantha Howse, with both players showing great skill and determination. Lauren teamed up with Orlando Lloyd to take the u18 mixed doubles title, and with Shani Altius-Ifil to take the u18 girls doubles title in the match tie-break. The match had our youngest ever ball girl when Shani's baby sister twice recovered to ball and took it to her big sister!

Jim, Julia and Sally The 2009 Open was an enjoyable event for the organisers. The Tournament Director, James Eastwood and the Tournament Referee, Julia Freeman, extend their thanks to all the players for their competitive tennis, exemplary fair play and sportsman-like behaviour in both victory and defeat. Special thanks go to Sally Cullen and her helpers for providing refreshments throughout the tournament and to the four chair umpires who helped make Finals Day special.. We would also like to thank both the players and their parents for their patience with any failings of the tournament organisers!

We look forward to seeing this year's competitors again in week 33 (August 9th-14th) next year at the 2010 Open.