DONCASTER Lawn Tennis Club’s Junior Spring Open, which gets under way this weekend, boasts both quality and quantity.
Over 350 players - more than 100 up on recent years - will compete for record prize money of over £1,100 in the week-long event at the club’s 12-court Saxton Avenue venue.
The long-running tournament has again attracted interest from all over the country with competitors travelling from as far afield as Inverness, Devon and the South East for the 2012 event.
The club will also be hosting a number of groups of players who are travelling with their coaches from the North East, Scotland and Staffordshire.
Previous winners at the tournament include British No 1 and current world No 4, Andy Murray, who took the 14 and under boys’ singes title as a junior in the 1990s.
This year’s 16 and under boys’ and 16 and under girls’ singles events have been re-graded by the LTA as National standard events - it is now a Grade 2 event - and this has attracted the UK’s No 1 boy Adam Glynn and No 3 girl Sabrina Federici.
All 16 and under events, which are being sponsored by local financial advisory firm ProAktive, will be played on the club’s six American Clay courts as stipulated by the LTA. The finals of the 16 and under events will be on Saturday week.
“The standard of play is certain to be very high at under-16s level and the club welcomes locals to come along and enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality on offer,” said tournament organiser Wayne Morris speaking exclusively to The Star.
With John Willis having left the club since last year’s event, Dave Kitchen, Yorkshire and Humberside’s premier junior tennis official, has taken over as tournament referee.
Among the local entries are Luis Sylvester, who will compete in the 14 and under boys’ singles and doubles, and Edward Morris, who will contest both the 14 and under and 16 and under events.
Both 14 year-olds have forced their way into the club’s Sheffield and District Men’s League teams this season.
Edward’s younger sister, Elizabeth - winner of the 12 and under girls’ singles title at Chesterfield earlier in the season - also competes.
Other local players include Jonathan Warren, Matthew Clegg, Jake Prime, Oliver Humphries and another family duo Joseph and Sam Newton.
The mini tennis events for under 9s and under 10s is again sponsored by local firm Danum Windows. This section has seen a huge increase in competitors with over 40 boys competing for the honours.
“The club will be putting on a number of off court activities for travelling competitors including an evening of laser battle, kindly donated and hosted by Bawtry Paintball Fields, as well as ten pin bowling and a fun filled pizza night,” said Wayne.
Doncaster LTC coaches Mick Hague and Liz Beaton will be on hand to oversee events and offer support and tips to players.