Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Juniors Compete in South Island Indoors and 14s and 12s Nationals- Dunedin

Four junior Tennis player's I work with are in Dunedin competing this week in the 14s and 12s National Indoor titles.Sam Lane and Annabel Ellis recently reached finals of the South Island Indoors a warm up event before Nationals.Zin South and Anna Cochrane will be participating in the 12s event.Lane and Ellis 14s.Lane took out the 14s South Island boys title while Ellis lost a hard fought 3 setter against the top seed.Ellis had beaten the second seed on route to the finals Gabriela Coates 6-1 6-4.Coates had beaten Ellis in their last few encounters but Ellis turned the tables here.In the final against Mia Middleton Ellis served for the match at 5-4 in the third but dropped serve and Middleton went on to win 7/5 .Lane defeated Carlos Reid 6-1 6-4 in the Final and had a rematch with Carlos today in his first match in the National Indoors winning again 6-4 6-4.Lane goes on to meet Kyle Butter's who proved his nemesis earlier this year in the 12s Nationals.Annabel Ellis meets hard hitting Lucia Young for a place in the Semi Finals winning her match today against Hannah Speight 6-3 6-0.Seeding's for the Girls event has left a lot to be desired after last minute withdrawals ,it was seen fit to re-draw the boys but not the girl's....can only happen in New Zealand.Below are pictures of Sam,Annabel ,Zin and Anna.

In not taking anything away from the winners I have to say that the event in Dunedin is a bit of a joke to call it a National event and then lay claim to a National Title when the girl's event has just 13 participants and the boys event has attracted 25.The top Dog ranking system does not Identify key tournaments and the lack of incentives for juniors to play National events from Tennis New Zealand is poor!I don't want to hear the old excuse of Location and Cost when Juniors are paying thousands of dollars for South Pacific Holiday ITFs trying to pick up cheap points ..which at the end of the day will mean nothing when they come to enter harder tournaments.Its funny very few New Zealanders test themselves in events in Australia ,my spin on this if you cant win there then forget hiding yourself in sub standard events that only look good on paper.If you have the money to spend and a little ability you can get a reasonable ITF ranking...now certain sectors will say lot's of Open Grand-slam winners have won Junior ITF titles and that is true.The best way to get a true perspective is to look at how many events they played and what tournaments they played ...you won't find them winning a Grade 4 tournament in Fiji on their CV. The winner of the Wimbledon Girls singles title this year played no listed ITF junior events in 2008/09 and has only played Grandslam 
junior events and lead in tournaments in 2010.I do acknowledge you have to start somewhere ,some need to play in Local key events and some need exposure in Bigger junior events in Australia....to step straight into ITF events is a little of a farce especially when you are not winning nationally.Tennis New Zealand needs to make more incentives to play National events not just the winter but April Nationals should be a must and if you want to be selected in a New Zealand team well play!

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