Tennis talent on display

Mount Gambier opens its doors to some of the rising racquet swingers in the country at this Sunday’s 2021 Tennis SA Bronze Regional Junior Tournament.

Across the courts of Olympic Park and Mount Gambier Tennis Club, more than 100 youngsters will strive for success in entry level Australian ranking event across the Under 12, 14 and 16 age groups. With possible selection in the region’s Foundation Cup side, Tennis

SA tournaments lead Emily Smith said the singles competition is a great chance for junior players to shine on a high level.

“Because it is part of the Foundation Cup selection process, a lot of the local kids that would not normally enter in Australian level events play,” she said. “It is a bit of a steppingstone to go on to play silver and gold tournaments around the country, so we have a number of players from outside the region in South Australia and Victoria.

“It is the start of a really good pathway and it is great to give them opportunities to play for Australian ranking points without having to travel up to Adelaide.” Interest has already exceeded previous editions of the annual tournament with 106 players signed up.

Smith was pleased to see so many entries and said anticipation for the national ranking competitions was higher than ever. “It is a pleasant surprise,” she said. “I think all of the kids are just keen to play in these tournaments again. “Since we have reintroduced the Australian ranking events we have seen an increase in numbers and it is great to see all of the kids having fun competing in the environment again.”

The Bronze level tournament will be the only of its kind in the Limestone Coast with remaining events scheduled for Renmark and Adelaide later this year. Smith said organising the event would not have been possible without the support of the locals.

“The South East Tennis Association has been a great assistance in planning the tournament,” she said. “They were very heavily involved in the promotion of the event.”

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