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Jaden Jones and Chase McCrimmon in regional tennis tournament

Taking on the best in the region: Chase McCrimmon, left, coach Evan Heyliger and Jaden Jones (Photograph by Mehluli Sibanda)

Two Bermuda juniors tennis players Jaden Jones and Chase McCrimmon are in the Dominican Republic for the Central American & Caribbean Tennis Confederation Under-14 tournaments, which starts today and concludes on Thursday.

Jones and McCrimmon, who are both aged 14, are competing against the best players in the Cotecc region.

Before departure with coach Evan Heyliger, the two declared their intentions to reach the main draw. Prior to heading off, the duo played in the Deloitte Open at Pomander Gate.

“I want to play my best tennis, it doesn't matter what the scores will be,” Jones told The Royal Gazette.

“I hope to get to the main draw of the singles because there are groups of six to start. You have to win four of those matches to go to the main draw.

“In the doubles, Chase and I think we can also make it to the main draw. We think we can go really deep into the tournament.

“I have been training specifically with my coach for the last two months. I’ve been getting myself technically ready, just brushing up on my strokes and working on my game plan.”

While keeping his eye on the main draw, McCrimmon is prepared for any eventuality.

“I’ll try to make to the main draw but if I don’t, then I’ll try to do well in the consolation,’’ he said.

“The main draw has 16 players and the consolation has 32. I’m in a group of six players and I have to come in the top two to qualify for the main draw.

“I went to El Salvador a few weeks ago and I’ve been playing a lot of tennis, hopefully, I do well in the Dominican Republic.

“In the Deloitte Open, I reached the semi-finals of the men’s B section and went on to win the consolation in the A section.”

Heyliger was thrilled to undertake his maiden assignment as a junior national team coach.

“I’m excited to go, I was away on a professional tour before I came back home recently,’’ Heyliger said.

“It’s the first time I’m travelling with a Bermuda team in a coaching role, so this will be exciting for me.

“It’ll be a learning experience, it’ll be enjoyable to see the differences in how the junior coaching works, as opposed to the seniors game.

“It’s nice to be able to continue developing as a coach and building relationships with these boys.

“The different thing about this tournament is that technically, it is an individual tournament where they represent Bermuda.

“They’ll both have their own results in singles, but they’ll play doubles together. This is a chance for them to earn their way to different level tournaments.

“The nice thing about it as well is that they’ll get to play tennis everyday. There are three tournaments in a space of a week, the qualifying tournament, the singles and the doubles towards the end of the week.

“They were lucky enough to have a tournament just before they left. This means they go there match fit and we've had a very good training process.

“The nice thing about these guys is that they play a lot of tennis already, so we didn't have to do anything on techniques.”

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Published June 15, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated June 15, 2024 at 7:40 am)

Jaden Jones and Chase McCrimmon in regional tennis tournament

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