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Juniors facing stiff test

Renaldo Gilkes

Juniors facing stiff test

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Barbados’ junior tennis players are expected to face a tough test from today.
A six-member team will have their work cut out in the annual Junior Davis Cup and Junior Federation Cup in the Dominican Republic.
Three boys and three girls will seek to put their best efforts out there in an effort to boost Barbados’ rankings, while having the experience of their lives.
The girls’ team will be coached by Kevin Yarde and comprises local champion Melena Lopez, Kayla Frost and Kianna Marshall.
The boys will be guided by coach Duncan Evanson and represented by Brandon Lee, Ajani King and Simon Lewis, all of whom will be attending their first Junior Davis Cup.
The team is relatively inexperienced with five of the six players making their debut but is expected to play with determination.
The senior player on the squad is Lopez, who will be attending her third Federation Cup.
Lopez made her debut as a budding 13-year-old starlet and now at 15 she is expected to carry the weight of the team with her knowledge and experience.
“It is a real honour to play for Barbados,” she said.
“You get an opportunity to play a lot of matches in a short space of time, sometimes playing two matches per day – a singles and doubles – for the whole week. It can be exhausting but also exciting at the same time.”
The week-long competition is the biggest, toughest and most exciting one for a junior tennis player, as it gives them a chance to represent their country in one of the most popular team sports.
With 15 other teams in the boys’ division and 14 in the girls’, Barbados is expected to face gruelling competition from Caribbean and Central American teams.