Jamaica to host ITF Junior Tennis tourney

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Tennis Jamaica says it is pleased to announce the return of International Tennis to the island.

In a release on Monday, the organisation revealed that it is getting ready to host two back-to-back ITF 18 and under junior events to be held at the Eric Bell National Tennis Centre between Monday, April 24 and Sunday, May 7.

The events will feature a number of Jamaicans alongside visiting male and female junior players from across the Globe including Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico and the United States.

Participants will be competing for world junior ranking points.

ITF referee, Tanios Kanaan, said he was excited to see international tennis returning to the island and is even more pleased with the level of support that the events have received so far.

“We received over forty entries on the boys side and over 20 on the girls for week one. The second week promises to be even bigger with most of the players staying on and a number of others joining them. The quality of players is very high and I am looking forward to intense competition over the coming days. We will also have doubles as well as singles so we look forward to persons coming out to watch quality tennis," he said.

The Jamaican charge on the boys’ side will be led by the island’s top junior, Daniel Azar, who returned to the island on the weekend alongside a strong contingent from the Saddlebrook Tennis Academy in Tampa. Azar, who is seeded five in the tournament, will bow into action on Tuesday. Other Jamaicans in the main draw on the boys’ side include Kyle and Kahj Clarke, Jairden Gibbs, Kyle Forrester, Kosei Gibbs and Jamar Parkinson.

A number of local girls will also be in main draw contention to include Courtney Chin Xenya Miller-Brown, Kyra Terman and Savannah Taylor.

Tennis Jamaica President and Tournament director, John Azar, says he is looking forward to two exciting weeks ahead.

“These tournaments represent our continued partnership with the International Tennis Federation. They are the first in a series of six international junior events to be held in Jamaica this year. It is an important part of our developmental plan and allows our local juniors to compete for world ranking points right here in Jamaica," he said. "Events like these provide an excellent opportunity for Jamaicans and invaluable exposure for our future stars reinforcing the levels of commitment and dedication required to succeed on the international stage. We are pleased with the support and welcome all the visiting players to the island for two weeks of high level international competition," said Azar.

All matches will be held at the Eric Bell National Tennis Centre, 2A Piccadilly Road, Kingston 5, serving off at 10:00am each day.

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