Gallery: Stars of the future in action at Ipswich park tennis tournament
- Credit: Archant
Young tennis players turned out for the Ipswich Parks Tournament at Ipswich Sports Club yesterday hoping for a taste of success.
Seventeen boys and girls playing at under eights level descended on the Henley Road venue as part of the week long event, which has age groups right up to eighteen and over.
The youngsters played a shortened form of the game which allowed them to play an entire tournament in just a few hours.
The matches were first to ten points rather than the usual 15, 30, 40 scoring system and the balls used were made of foam.
And the courts, housed in ISCs indoor tennis centre, were only about a third of the side of a normal court.
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This meant matches lasted only seven or eight minutes and led to a rapid turnover of players competing in short bursts.
While the eight girls played in a single round robin group the nine boys were split into two groups, one of four and one of five.
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The top two players from each group qualified for knockout semi-finals while the others played in a separate knockout phase to decide the positions from fifth to ninth.
Tournament organiser Craig Lambert said: “The idea is to get them to enjoy their tennis and playing as many matches as possible.
“They have the smaller courts because of their size, which is also the reason they have the different balls.
“Grassroots tennis is key because we need to encourage young people to participate.
“The only way to find the best players is to find them playing when they’re younger.
“The more players you have the more you have to choose from.
“Tournaments are nothing without players.
“It’s been a hectic day today but the players have enjoyed themselves.”
The tournament continues today with events for the under nine age group who play the first to two tie breaks of seven points each and on slightly larger courts.