Tennis trio shine in Florida
Temple of Tennis youth players Daniel and Imani Phillips and Ricky Mallory III captured glory at last weekend’s Mini Mo Tournament in Port Lucie, Florida.
The promising trio claimed three singles and two doubles titles between them to cap a successful tournament.
Daniel underlined his enormous potential after walking away with both the boys Under-eight and Under-seven red ball titles.
He lost only three games en route to the Under-eight title after cruising to convincing victories against Egypt’s Khalil Aroussy (4-0, 4-1) and China’s Xiaoyi Li (4-2, 4-0).
He then lifted the Under-seven title after breezing to comfortable wins against Czech Republic’s Stella Rundoua (7-0, 7-0), USA’s Jose Murariu (7-1, 7-2) and Joseph Pizzuro (7-0, 7-0) and Canada’s Victor Galut (7-0, 7-1).
For added measure Daniel finished runner up in boys Under-ten doubles competition (orange ball).
Not to be outdone, Daniel’s sister Imani also shone brightly in Florida.
She won the girls Under-ten green dot title after getting past USA’s Ariel Johnson, Addie Breunich, Christi Valburn and Lara Smejkal.
Imani recorded comfortable victories against Smejkal and Valburn but encountered stubborn resistance in her matches with Johnson and Breunich which she won a tie break.
The Somerset Primary student also captured glory in the girls Under-ten green dot doubles event to cap a memorable weekend of competition. The doubles competition featured a round robin format that saw the players with the most match victories playing with all of the participants declared the winner.
Mallory, son of Temple of Tennis president Ricky Mallory, won the boys Under-ten green dot doubles competition that also featured a round robin format.
He also finished runner up in the boys Under-ten green dot singles event after losing 0-4, 4-2, 5-7 against Ellis Short (GBP) in the final.
Commenting on the trio’s performances, Temple of Tennis director Sam Maybury said: “The kids are so proud of themselves. They peaked at the right times in terms of learning on the court with the different opponents they would come against and come up with the appropriate antidote to change the match at critical points in time. It was just awesome to watch young children think like adults and change the course of the momentum.”
Daniel warmed up for last weekend’s tournament with a solid showing at the Little Mo International Junior Championships in West Palm Beach where he teamed up with Ignacio Buse (Peru) to win the Under-eight boys’ doubles competition and reached the semi-finals of the Under-eight singles event.
The promising player’s trip was sponsored by Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association, Maybury revealed.
“This is a new initiative that has been established by the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association to give us the opportunity financially and morally where we have their total support for the younger children's’ advancement,” he said. “This was the first time that we had direct sponsorship from the association for children so young who are doing so well.”
Accompanying the young tennis trio in Florida was Temple of Tennis president Mallory, director Maybury, secretary Sarah Fellows and coach Gavin Manders.