By Camden Riviere

We were treated to a wonderful weekend of junior tennis at the National Tennis Club in January for the U.S. Junior Handicap. Alongside our 6 local players, we were happy to have two traveling players (Michael Hill from Boston and Tess Browne from Washington) attend the event.

Friday opened with a clinic and pizza party at the club for all the contestants. Juniors were also treated to a great talk by NTC Club President Steve DeVoe, who spoke about the history of court tennis, the Newport court, and court etiquette.

Saturday was a full day of play, with the two divisions – U13 and under U17 – featuring many close matches. The format was round robin within the groups, with the top 4 in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. After Saturdays play finished, the group headed to Aquidneck Pizza for some pasta, darts, and of course some Patriots football!

The semifinals on Sunday morning were as close as could be, with Mary-Kate Boyle advancing to the final of the her first ever tournament, only to take on her good friend Jakob Bregenhoj in the U13 final! Mary-Kate and Jakob both showed superb etiquette and sportsmanship on the court, and we couldn’t have been more proud of how much their tennis improved over the course of the weekend. Although Jakob had beaten MK in the round robin stage, she got her revenge in the final – winning the match 8 games to 6.

The Under 17 Semi-Finals pitted Jack Martin against Michael Hill and Ben Dickinson against Tess Browne. Tess has cleaned up in the round robin stage, and looked like the favorite for the event, but Ben played some very smart tennis to win the match and make the Final. Michal and Jack had a battle in the other Semi-Final, which was a replay of their round robin match, which could have gone either way. The Final between Michael and Ben showed some classic court tennis, and amazing thought by both players. It was great to see the juniors thinking about the game at such an intense level. Ben was too good though, finding his best tennis in the Final, and taking the title 8 games to 5.

Thank you to everyone who helped out with the weekend, and the Parent’s for supporting the event! The junior handicap weekend was sponsored by the USCTA/USCTPF Player Development Fund.

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