Youngsters from Selkirk and Earlston serve up a treat

From the girls' final, Mhairi Buchanan, left, and winner Ailsa Clark - both are from Earlston.
From the girls' final, Mhairi Buchanan, left, and winner Ailsa Clark - both are from Earlston.

Promising young south-Scotland tennis players gave an indication of how high local standards are when they gathered for the Hastings Legal Borders 14 and Under Boys and Girls Singles Tournament, held on Sunday at Kelso Orchard Tennis Club.

Tournament organiser, head coach Lesley Thomas, started the day’s proceedings at 10am and all courts were in use up until the final game, which finished at 5.15pm.

Lesley also presented the trophies and thanked the sponsor, parents and supporters, catering volunteers and, particularly, the youngsters, for such a splendid display of top-quality tennis.

It turned out to be a sunny and warm day, and the parents and supporters were treated to exciting and entertaining matches throughout.

In an all-Selkirk Boys’ Final, number one seed Ivan Burt-Smith defeated number two seed Daniel Main 6-1, 6-0.

Daniel, rated 8.2, played a few winning forehand drives but Ivan, who plays off a 6.2 rating, entertained with a variety of forehand and backhand cross court and volley winners.

Ivan plays successfully in tournaments all over the UK and, at 13 years of age, is part of the

number one couple in the Selkirk men’s team.

The Girls’ Final was similar to the boys’ in that number one seed Ailsa Clark (Earlston), a 9.1 ranked player, defeated last year’s winner and number two seed, Mhairi Buchanan, also of Earlston, ranked 10.1, by 6-2, 6-0.

Once again, as was flavour of the day, the main play featured baseline rallies, with very few serve and volley attempts. Ailsa’s strength of service and hard-driving forehands proved too much for a valiant Mhairi who, incidentally, had played out a very long semi-final win over Daisy Scott-Watson (Kelso).

Tomorrow (Friday), an 18U, open to all yellow ball players, will be held at Kelso Orchard Tennis Club from 6pm.

There will be a small charge on the night to cover the costs of food and refreshments.

This is open to all girls playing in clubs – any number of players from a club can enter.

The organisers would encourage all abilities of players to enter, from club players to more experienced competitors, and abilities will be matched up on the night. Format will be decided once numbers are known.

This is in replacement of the girls’ leagues this year and more dates will be organised, following on from the first trial night.