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SVG to host ITF Junior Tennis Tournament again

SVG to host ITF Junior Tennis Tournament again

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St Vincent and the Grenadines, for the 11th edition running, will host a leg of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Tennis circuit.

In excess of 100 tennis players from over 30 countries will, from August 12 to 19, make full use of the National Tennis Centre at Villa, to vye for top honours and for valuable ranking points.

With title sponsors National Lotteries Authorities (NLA), this year’s ITF tournament will only see the Under-18 category contested.

President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association (SVGTA) Brian Nash, at a press conference last Thursday at the Ministry of Tourism offices, disclosed, “This year, the Under-14 tournament has been suspended until next year”.

He cited the presence of only six courts at the National Tennis Centre, when, according to him, “Ideally to host the ITF – the Under-18 and Under-14, you will need at least eight courts, two of which will be practice courts”.

When the ITF Junior tournament was hosted here in 2016, the Buccament Bay Resort was the venue for the staging of the Under-14s.

Nash said to mark the 10th anniversary, during the opening ceremony of the tournament there will be “a mini cultural package, featuring a number of local performers”.

Some of the participating countries Nash named in this year’s tournament are the USA, Panama, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Japan, Barbados, Suriname, Peru, Spain, India, Jamaica, Norway, Panama, Australia, Venezuela, US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Philippines, Mexico, the Netherlands, Argentina, Russia, Brazil, Romania, Great Britain and St Vincent and the Grenadines.  

The qualifying phase of the tournament takes place on Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, with the main draws commencing Monday, August 14.

The main draws of both the males and females will feature 32 players, with the 16 pairs in doubles showing.

Topping the males ranking is the USA’s Eliot Spizirri (333). Blaise Bicknell, also of the USA, who won last year’s title, has a world ranking of 333 and is seeded second, with Roger Lyn, also of the USA, ranked 630.

In the females, the Japanese duo of Renika Ohashi (549) and Sena Takebe (551) lead the pack. Mel Gonzalez of Ecuador, ranked 580, completes the top three for the tournament.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ best ranked players are twin sisters Gabrielle and Amarlia Benn, who are both ranked 1943.

They, along with Anastacia White and Nikalette Hadaway, will be in the main draw.

The ITF circuit, which served off in St Lucia, last Friday, will head to Tobago, following the St Vincent and the Grenadines leg.

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