GALLERY: Champion tennis stars compete at SD Junior Champs
TENNIS: Junior athletes left nothing in the tank when they took to Warwick tennis courts for the Southern Downs Junior Championships.
Playing the Fast4 format of the game, Warwick president Nathan Costello was impressed with the number of athletes who made the trip for the tournament.
“We have 85 – there’s only two locals but the rest are from Queensland and northern New South Wales,” Costello said.
“We host this tournament every year, for longer than I can remember, it’s been going for at least 40 or 50 years.
“It’s one a lot of parents and kids have always supported, and a couple of coaches here come every year and will bring 10 to 15 kids with them.”
Despite numbers being slightly down this year, Costello could see the determination from athletes – with only two athletes representing Warwick.
“Charbel and Gabby Kairouz were the only local competitors,” he said.
“They only started playing tennis a couple of weeks ago; Gabby, while she lost her three matches, she’s won a couple of sets.
“They’ve both had a great tournament, especially for their first one, they’ve both played well.”
With athletes travelling from across the state, tournament director Travis Dragojlo was impressed with the heated level of competition.
“There’s quite a few south region kids, there’s a few from Dalby, Ben Forbes, who is doing really well,” Dragojlo said.
“A couple of the Roma boys are going all right in the under 10s.
“Because it’s all done off rankings, in the first few rounds all of the seeded players will play unseeded players, so it tends to get a bit closer towards the finals because the games are getting closer.”
Only just starting to rebuild junior tennis in Warwick, Costello is hopeful 2020 will see an influx of children wanting to get involved with the sport.
“We’ve only really just started rejuvenating junior fixtures here in Warwick, and we’re hoping come next year, we’ll have more kids enter,” Costello said.
“There’s a smaller regional tournament in August, so we’re expecting to have quite a few players at that.”
16 and under boys: winner Ethan Takac, runner-up Ben Forbes
16 and under girls: winner Jennifer Le Roux, runner-up Malibu Burke
14 and under: winner Billy Mutch, runner-up Sam Gilmore
12 and under boys: winner Ozzy Robins, runner-up Dash Comiskey
12 and under girls: winner Sarah Bigg, runner-up Georgia Campbell
10 and under: winner Henri Madden, runner-up Cody Martins
14 and under doubles: winner Billy Mutch and Sam Gilmore, runner-up Ryan Monaghan and Levi Thorpe
10 and under doubles: winner Henri Madden and Cruz Stevens, runner-up Aarav Nattuvetty and Adhitya Nattuvetty