Eight young stars to represent in Caribbean tennis tournament

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Eight national youth tennis players will represent Antigua & Barbuda in the fifth installment of the Antigua & Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) Caribbean Junior Invitational 12 & Under Tennis tournament slated for this weekend at the National Tennis Center (NTC) at Campsite.
Samaar Davis, Brasha Dyer, Ariel Kelsick and Sibly Charles will carry the nation’s flag in the girls’ division while Jaiden Julien, Jaydon Marcano, Xaveek Toppin and Deandre Weeks will champion the country’s challenge in the boys’ category for the tournament, which starts Friday with an opening ceremony.
President of the ABTA, Cordell Williams said preparation has been on course going into the three-day competition.
“All the kids that are playing basically come from the Halcyon programme, so they have been on the court,” he said. “Normally you would want them on the court three days per week, [but] we upped practice on Saturday and Sunday just to get them ready. During the week they would come after school and so on the weekend you want to have them on the court by 12 noon or 1 pm [in the sun] because that is the condition they are going to be playing in.”
A total of 37 players from six countries, including the hosts, have registered to compete in this year’s tournament.
The General Secretary of the ABTA, Peter Quinn revealed that this is a reduction from last year’s numbers.
“The countries that will be represented include Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Jamaica, USA and Trinidad. It’s a drop from last year when we had 12 countries and 44 players but part of the problem this year was scheduling. Guyana, for example, were a late withdrawal because the coach said they had to prepare for the common entrance exams,” he said.
Friday’s opening ceremony is slated to start at 6:30 pm at the NTC, while play commences Saturday at 9 am and continues on Sunday and Monday at the same time.

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