Twelve year olds, Aaron Fields and Aayana Evanson are the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) Pre-Valentine’s 12s Open Tournament champions.
Halcyon Tennis Club was the venue for the ABTA-hosted event where 16 young people (eight boys and eight girls) competed for the tournament championship amongst the nation’s 12 & under Juniors held this February 7 to 8 amidst the backdrop of a blazing Antigua sun.
Fields secured his under-12 boys crown convincingly as he ousted 11-year-old Aiden Fuller in straights sets, 6-0, 6-0, late Saturday afternoon.
Evanson downed 11-year-old Bonnie Dougall 6-2, 6-4, in the Girls Finals on Sunday.
“It was a day of gruelling match play,” said ABTA Public Relations Officer and the tournament’s director, Dianne Hillhouse.
Three of the nation’s tennis clubs were represented: the Jolly Harbour Academy (JHA), Curtain Bluff-Old Road Fund and host club Halcyon Tennis Club (HTC).
In the day’s girls semi-finals number one-seeded Evanson (HTC) defeated Selene Kentish (HTC) 4-0, 4-5 (tiebreak 5-7), 4-1. The other semi-final game saw #2 seed Sibly Charles (JHA) losing to Dougall (JHA) 3-5, 5-3, 4-2.
The first game of the boys semi-finals had number one-seeded Seth Joseph (HTC) lose to Fuller (HTC) 4-2, 0-4, 5-3, and #2 seed Fields defeated Diez’l Roseau (JHA) 4-1, 4-0.
“The level of coaching our players get is second to none,” said Hillhouse of the level of play at the tournament.
“However with limited training hours and limited competitions, it can stunt their development. Hence our introduction of the ABTA introduction of the Caribbean Jr Invitational, now in its third year, bringing some of the top 12s to our shore.”
The next tournament on the ABTA calendar is an Under-14 singles tournament on February 21 at the Halcyon Tennis Club and will feature players between the ages of 11 and 14.