Young tennis players do battle

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About 40 Otago primary and intermediate school tennis players displayed their best serves during a tournament at the Edgar Centre last week. Thirty-eight players from 12 schools competed in the Otago Primary and Intermediate Schools Tennis Championship on Friday. Tournament director Ahmad Abdul-Rahman said the number of players had increased from about 30 last year. ‘‘We’re doing a lot in terms of tournaments to encourage people to play.’’ There was a focus on getting pupils to play development matches to increase their confidence rather than eliminating them from the tournament when they lost a match, he said. ‘‘The more we can do to increase player satisfaction the more we get in terms of an increase in numbers.’’ The top three players in the boys’ and girls’ year 8 and under grades and the top two players in the boys’ and girls’ year 6 and under grades qualified for the Southern Region Schools Playoff. Kavanagh College pupil Pippa Sherriff (12) won the girls’ year 8 and under grade 6-3, 6-2 against Balmacewen Intermediate pupil Maia Hunter (13). Pippa, who has been playing tennis since she was 5, said she had entered the tournament before and enjoyed playing in it. Daniel Lund (12), of John McGlashan College, won the boys’ year 8 and under grade, Samuel Sherburd (11), of Mornington School, won the boys’ year 6 and under grade and Aminah Ahmad (8), of Columba College, came out on top in the girls’ year 6 and under grade. The Southern Region Schools Play-Off will be held on November 10 at the Edgar Centre and will determine which players from South Canterbury to Southland will qualify for the South Island Play-Off in Timaru later this month.