Juniors improve for semis
COFFS Saturday morning juniors are nearing semi-finals with all playing noticeably improved tennis.
In Division 1, Conlan Brehaut and Jake Howe are the team to beat after winning comfortably again with neither dropping a set in their 29/11 win.
Gracie Hemer, Christie Haisman and Aleece Ross were just as dominant – Christie won her singles 6/2, Aleece won 5/3 and all won their doubles.
These teams look on a collision course for the final.
In Division 2, Kieren Salt and Alister Brehaut played very consistently to win 25/15.
Kieren played probably his best tennis of the term winning his singles 7/1 and 5/3 and against Brandon Skewes had a great set where the rallies were numerous.
He just found Kieren a little too consistent on the day and lost 5/3 and Alister chipped in with a 6/2 singles win of his own.
Four out of the six players won two of their three sets on the weekend in Division 3.
Noah Ross, Liam Maybank, Isaac Govan and Daniel Wilson are starting to hit the ball firmer and keep the rallies going longer.
Everyone has to fight harder to win points which is great at this stage and being so even, means finals in this division will be eagerly awaited.
In Division 4, teams ahead of the rest are Ben Bensley-Tara Charleson and Cooper Scott-Ranul Narangoda, with both winning on Saturday.
Cooper made less errors to win singles 6/2 and 5/3 and Ranuls also had a good 6/2 win.
Ben was more dominant and his singles wins – 7/1 and 7/1 – were the difference in his team’s 25/15 win.
Last Saturday Ben was the most determined he has been to actually keep the ball in the court and not give away easy points, so he must realise the finals are just around the corner.
Both matches in Division 5 were well-contested.
Brayden Salt and Christian Slaviero had a strong 25/15 win with Brayden showing he is ready for the next division with two comfortable 6/2 singles wins.
Christian chimed in with a 6/2 win to make the result a team effort.
In the other match Kodi Graham was dominant and is another vying for a spot in the next division, winning both sets 6/2.
The other three sets were all 4/4 draws which shows how close the game was before Kodi’s two singles wins.
LAST weekend I took nine NCAS juniors to Ipswich for the Queensland Clay Court titles.
The event was strong and three juniors did extremely well.
Rachael Fahey (Grafton) and Blake Clarke (Laurieton) made the semis of the main 12-and-under draw.
Pat Coates (Kempsey), who comes to me for coaching, met No. 1 seed Jack Moore in the second round and took Jack – ranked 500 places better nationally – to three close sets, losing 4/6 6/1 10/7 in a match that could have gone either way.
Jack won the final 6/3 6/1 and Pat won the consolation 8/4, playing Lachlan McPhee.
Once Pat gains more self-belief and improves his serve he will be a force in 14s. He is going to the Nationals during April which are on clay in Ipswich.
LAST weekend saw a local JDS tournament at Forster with only 56 juniors playing.
Low entries are a worry for North Coast tennis as this type of tournament is where juniors who are just starting out gain experience.
If the numbers and standard drop, it has an impact long term.
The 14 and 16-years girls are a real worry as there were only three of each playing.
Eli Bayliss and Allan Pade both took juniors down.
Bill Childs, Alex Studley, Christie Haisman, Hudson Kasics and Bill Shanahan all did well from Eli’s group.
First up, Bill Childs defeated Jack Darcey in the final of 16-year boys 6/4 before Alex and Christie won the 16 and 14-year girls respectively.
Hudson and Bill Shanahan lost in the semis of the 14 and 12-year boys events.
Of the group Allan took down, Andrew Lemin, Mat Thompson and Dillon Thompson performed the best.
Andrew and Dillon met in the semis of the 14-year boys and in a very intense and close match, Andrew just got up 6/5.
He then found Andrew Chee too strong in the final, losing 6/2.
This will be a learning experience for both boys and Andrew is now in their sights.
Mat made the semis of the 12s where he lost to Jack Clarke 6/1, before Jack went on to win the event.
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