August 21, 2012
Tennis Association head stresses benefits

President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association Anthony Mc Kenzie is again highlighting the benefits of this country hosting International Tennis Federation Tournaments.

SVG last week hosted First Citizens Investment Bank ITF Junior Tournament, at the National Tennis Centre and the Grassroot Tennis club facility.

The tournament drew over 100 players from 20 countries for one week of tennis.

“It is critical that this tournament remains in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Only Trinidad, Barbados and St Lucia have such tournaments in the near region,” Mc Kenzie told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday

In further listing the benefits, the local tennis boss said: “It gives our juniors the ability to compete and gain international points with the ITF as well as COTECC (the regional governing body)… as our players are also exposed to top players ranked in the top 1,000 of junior players worldwide — therefore, they can understand what skill level is needed to compete successfully.

“The cost savings for our junior players are considerable — they do not incur travel and lodging expenses, which can run thousands of dollars for a one-week ITF tournament in the region, ” Mc Kenzie added.

Mc Kenzie also proffered that parents and coaches can also assess the players’ progress within the sport during the tournament, as their level of play gets better.

He noted as well the increased practice sessions required which enhance the players’ weight, diet and flexibility as the top junior players spend at least 20 hours training each week on the court.

Mc Kenzie, in expounding on the trickle down effects said: “Tourism benefits, as well as hotels in the area are normally filled; restaurants, taxis, and other services also benefit. This year brought over 200 persons to St Vincent and the Grenadines, which include the players, parents, officials and coaches.”

Mc Kenzie revealed that despite the hosting of the tournaments annually, there is work to be done in-house.

“At present the SVGTA is still in need of volunteers to join the executive — parents, coaches, and corporate sponsors. To this end, the SVGTA will attempt to hold another AGM during the last week of September,” Mc Kenzie said.

When the ITF tournament ended on Friday, Semen Tripolskiy of Russia beat Sessa Ranelli of Venezuela 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 to take the male under-18 singles title.

The pair of Grenadian Yannik James and Barbadian Matthew Hutchinson overcame William Flavell of Great Britain and Stefan Frljanic of Canada 6-3, 6-1, to win the male doubles,

Among the females the USA’s Madison Bourguignon beat her countrywoman Jenna Friedel 6-4, 6-1, to win the singles title.

The duo of sisters Alexandra and Madison Bourguignon whipped Katherine Guarino of the USA and Thailand’s Peeray Chareonsirisutthikul 6-2, 6-2 to take the doubles. (RT)