Cream of junior tennis crop faces off



THERE will be no easy paths to victory for junior challengers in this weekend's $8000 Wide Bay Australia 2005 Gladstone Open Hardcourt Tennis Championships.

The championships get under way at the Gladstone District Tennis Association courts today, with competitors in junior and senior ranks battling over three days for division titles.

Event organiser Ken Hick said the championships had at-tracted the best field of juniors seen in regional Queensland in many years.

'The junior boys and girls fields are littered with the cream of Queensland tennis,' Hick said.

'Many of the top seeds in both boys' and girls' singles are not just the best going around in Queensland, but the best in Australia with their recent win in the Pizzey Cup, which is the pinnacle of Australian secondary schools tennis.'

The 18-and-under boys' singles will be a lottery with 30 talented youngsters lining up for a shot at the title. Brendan Warwick is the only local in the field with Noah Marsh having to withdraw due to injury this week.

The 18/u girls' singles is also hard to pick with top seed Prue Tietzel heading a class field.

Several Gladstone juniors will be keen to showcase their skills, including recently returned pair Chris Bauer and Charmaine Mason who represented Capricornia at state primary school titles.

Neither earnt selection in the Queensland side but will be better players for the experience.

Other Gladstone juniors include Graham Hick (16/u), Chris Warwick, Sam Driver, Ryan Mitchell (14/u), Ben Aldridge, Blake Gibbs, David Black, Dylan Smith, Reuben Smith and Rebecca Frost-Wood (12/u).



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