TAMWORTH Tennis Club in Treloar Park will play host to over 100 budding tennis stars next week as they try to either obtain or improve a national junior tennis ranking.
The Optus Junior Tour Tournament is a nation-wide umbrella tour that acts as a clear pathway to competitive tennis for aspiring young players who have already progressed to tournament level.
It is sanctioned by Tennis Australia and carries national ranking points.
North West Academy head coach Jarrod Campbell said the ranking system was the same system all players in Australia use.
“That means kids can get on the net and look up their ranking – they might be number 10, 001 – but they will be able to see that Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt are numbers one and two on the same table,” Campbell said.
The tournament is now in its third year at the club and every year it attracts young players from as far away as the north coast, Sydney, Newcastle and even a contingent from Queensland
Under 10s, 12s, 14s and 16s will be playing over the four days in both singles and doubles.
Players have to play in a few of these tournaments before they acquire enough points to gain a ranking but, as that ranking gets better, they are eligible for bigger and better tournaments.
“We always see a lot of talented players at the event and it is a great pathway to greater things,” Campbell said.
Zac McCann from Gunnedah is the number one seed in the under 16 boys, and fellow Gunnedah player Kyra Carylon is expected to do well.
“There is a very strong local contingent and some good players being produced in the region,” Campbell said.
This year there will be 211 tournaments throughout the country in a bid to give all juniors in every region the same chances in the ranking system.
Warragundi Beef are sponsoring the tournament, with play starting at 9am Monday morning.