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Bermuda juniors head to Dominican Republic

Learning curve: Lines

Nicholas Lines, Tanner Boyle and Dylan Powell will represent Bermuda at the pre-qualifying Junior Davis Cup tournament in the Dominican Republic this month.

The team, selected by the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association, will compete in the 16 and under age group, with the top country advancing to the final round of qualification in May.

The competition runs from February 24 to March 1, with Bermuda finishing twelfth out of 15 countries in last year’s event.

Jerome Bradshaw, who is travelling with the squad as the non-playing captain, hopes the level of competition helps the learning curve of Bermuda’s players.

“The main goal is to provide developmental experiences for the Bermuda players,” Bradshaw said.

“By exposing them to unknown competition, they will quickly understand that they will be playing among some countries that are at our level, as well as some very strong, more seasoned players whose only interest is tennis, even in this under-16 age group.

“Our first goal is to make the main draw, and then do the best we can and pick up some valuable experience along the way.”

Sixteen countries are expected to take to the courts in Santo Domingo. Many of the world’s leading senior players have competed in the event during their developmental years.

Bermuda’s team have been training since Christmas and are in their final stages of preparation before they depart on February 22.

“The BLTA has been sending its junior boys and girls to these team events for the past five or six years, so it is natural for the players to compare their results to those of predecessors,” Bradshaw added.

“This is an individual sport using a team format. There will be the individual pride of performing in individual matches, but they also understand that they must win at least two out of the three matches to win a tie.

“We will be pleased with making the main draw, anything better would be an additional thrill.”