THE annual Thongsbridge Junior Open took place in the half term holidays, and as the event has grown in stature since its birth four years ago, it attracted a stunning array of players from the length and breadth of the country.
Organisers Tim and Ange Horsfall, along with referees Nick Fitzpatrick and Tom Sanders, had their work cut out, scheduling more than 360 matches for the 219 players, but this impressive event ran without a hitch, and thanks must go to all those involved.
Local talent, as expected, was out in force, and no where more evident than in the under 10 girls’ event, where a solid performance from Bronte Murgett saw her lift the winner’s trophy, whilst Chloe Chawner played some fine tennis to come second. In the boys under 10s, Henry Berzins made quarters, and Luke Boulton put in a good performance to make semis.
In the under 12s, Joel Ezro, still young in the age group, did well to make second round, and for the girls, a confident display from Holly Horsfall carried her through to the semis. Holly also made second round in the under 14s, as did Eilidh Maclean.
For the under 14s boys, Edward Saxton made excellent progress to quarters, Andrew Atkinson made third round, and James Armitage, Bradley Whitwam and Edward Lovatt made second round. All must be congratulated as the draw of 54 boys was of a high standard, and four of the boys are young in the age group.
In the under 14 doubles, the girls’ winners were Charlotte Kershaw and Holly Horsfall, and for the boys, Andrew Atkinson (with partner Jordan Wilkinson from Hull) was unlucky not to make semis, after losing to the eventual winners in a tie break.
In the under 16 boys event Calum Stacy-Grant, Andrew Atkinson and Miles Murgett all made second round in another strong field of 60 boys, but Sam Higginbottom enjoyed an impressive run through to the quarter finals. And for the girls, a stunning semi final performance from Kim Atkinson saw her make the final, but she had to be content with the runners-up trophy. Amy Keast and Katie Rowe also did well to make quarters, and Harriet Richardson and Charlotte Kershaw made the second round.
The under 18s boys saw a strong performance from Christopher Prince carry him through to the quarters, securing some impressive wins along the ways, and Nathan Sinclair maintained his recent good form to reach the same stage. Sam Higginbottom had a comfortable first round win before falling to the 8th seed. Kim Atkinson was in action again for the girls, and once more produced some superb tennis and went out in semis.
The boys under 18s doubles brought success for Sam Higginbottom and Nathan Sinclair, and Christopher Prince and Matthew Vegeris, who all made the semi finals. And for the girls, Kim Atkinson (with partner Lisa Jacob from Harrogate) was unlucky not to make semis, losing to the eventual winners in a tight tie break, but Amy Keast and Hannah Wightman made semis, whilst Debbie Horsfall (with partner Ellie Makin from Leeds) played great doubles to come in at second place.
A host of players lost their first round matches, but secured good wins in their consolation matches, including Beth Wightman, Matthew Vegeris, Harriet Richardson, Elizabeth Hodgson, Matthew Cheesbrough, William Rowe and Jonathon Prince.