Last week saw the annual Thongsbridge Junior Open, sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care. Approximately 250 children entered the event from all over the country, and over 50 of these were Thongsbridge’s own players. 26 of these entered the U8 Mini Red event, where Louis Hull and Zak Lloyd both narrowly missed out on making the final. The U9 Mini Orange event was also well attended, for both the boys and the girls. Owen Lodge made the final of the event, but fell to his opponent in a tough 3 set match. The U10 Mini Green girls saw Gabriella Lindley (still eligible for U9 Mini Orange) reach the final where she unfortunately missed out on the winner’s trophy, and in the boy’s Alexander Tikhonov played some fantastic tennis to reach the quarter-finals. In the u12s boys, Oliver Vesely made the semi-finals, but unfortunately fell short to his opponent. Orla Cooper won her first round match in the girl’s event, to make the quarter-finals. The U14 boys saw Barney Fitzpatrick make the semi-finals, where he then lost to the no.1 seed. In the girls event, Lucy Margetson won her first round match. Barney Fitzpatrick had a fantastic run again in the u16s, where he was unseeded but made the final, taking out the no.3 seed along the way. Christopher Turton also played some great tennis to win his first round match. In the girls, Emily Young won her first game, but then came up against the eventual winner. This year was Andrew Atkinson’s last Thongsbridge Junior Open, as next year he will be too old for the event, and so was desperate to succeed in the u18 boys. Andrew won all his matches convincingly with some great tennis, and took the winner’s medal. Holly Horsfall was playing in the U18 girls event. Despite some tough tennis throughout the tournament, she was also successful in winning the event. The doubles was well attended by Thongsbridge players. In the u14 girls Lucy and Charlotte Margetson lost out in the final, in the boys Barney Fitzpatrick also lost in the final with his partner Ben Davies. The u18 girls was won by Holly Horsfall and Megan Pollick, beating Emily Young and her partner Alice Copland, and in the boys Andrew Aktinson and Isaac Ezro made the semi-finals.
Also last week, 11 boys and 7 girls played in an U9 and U10 event in Hull. Owen Lodge, Joshua Fowler, Rory Bryant and Pieter Aben all made the semi-finals in the main draw of the boys event. Owen then beat Joshua, and Rory beat Pieter to meet in the final. It was a tough final, resulting in Owen winning the event in 5 tie-break sets. Cadence Simpson made the main draw of the girls event, but lost her match in the quarter-finals. The U10s was a mixed event, and Alexander Tikhonov won his matches in the qualifying rounds to make the main draw, where he lost out in the semi-final.
Some of the children headed off to Liverpool for another tournament. Owen Lodge and Esa Butt qualified for the U9 event, and both won their first rounds in the main draw. Rory Bryant and Joshua Fowler also won matches in the qualifying rounds. Lucy Newman and Ellie Horne also entered the girls event, and despite a fantastic effort and some great tennis, both fell to their opponents. In the U10 boys, Roman Khela, Dan Lloyd, Alexander Tikhonov, Manny Hesmondhalgh and Dominic Vesely all won their first round matches. Roman made the semi-finals where he was beaten by Alexander. Manny and Dominic also met in the semi-finals, but Dominic came out the stronger player. In the final Dominic played a great game to beat Alexander, 4-2, 4-1.
Georgia Draper, Orla Cooper and Oliver Vesely all travelled down to Bath with Head-Coach Nick Fitzpatrick for a Grade 2 U12 Winter National Tour. Both Georgia and Orla were in qualifiers. Both players won their first round, but narrowly missed out on qualifying after losing their final qualifying match. Oliver Vesely made the main draw of the event, after winning both of his qualifying matches, but then lost in his first round of the main draw.
Chloe Chawner played in a Grade 2 qualifying in Gosling. She won her first match of her group, but then lost out in a 3rd set tie-break and so narrowly missed out on making the main draw.
At the beginning of the month, Andrew Atkinson, Holly Horsfall and Barney Fitzpatrick in Grade 1 events at the National Tennis Centre, where in order to qualify, you must be top 16 in the country. They all played fantastically to win rounds in their age groups. Holly won the consolation draw in the U18 girls, Andrew came runner-up in the consolation draw of the U18 boys and Barney won his first round of the U14 boys and then lost to the no.2 in Europe.