The town of Macon hosted not one, but two USTA sanctioned junior tennis tournaments this past weekend, giving Atlanta area tennis players plenty of reasons to book hotels and travel to Central Georgia. The John Drew Tennis Center hosted The Middle GA Jr. Fall Champs, while Idle Hour County Club held the Ga. State Jr. Open 10’s, an event for 10 and under kids.
Thomas Kennedy, a 10 yr. old Atlanta resident traveled to Macon’s Idle Hour Country Club to test his talents against the state’s top youth 10 and under players.
“This is a bigger tournament,” said Kennedy, speaking about the skill level of the entrants, “so there are a lot of (talented) kids.”
After losing his first main draw match to Macon’s Matthew Mitchell, 4-51; 4-2; 7-4, Kennedy had to put the disappointment behind him. “I have to forget about it and move on,” he said.
And put it behind him he did. Kennedy snagged the third/fourth playoff title defeating Harrison Luba 4-0; 4-2. Kennedy’s uncle, Bobby Reynolds currently plays on the ATP tour.
Marietta resident Zachary Raymond, who recently turned 10 yrs. old, won the boys division mowing over four opponents and never dropped a set.
“I use the green dot balls(during training) but practiced with the orange balls to get ready for this tournament.” Raymond, seeded No. 2 beat the No.1 seed Matthew Mitchell in the finals, 5-4; 5-3. Both Raymond and Kennedy train at Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.
Hannah Grace Skipper, a 9 yr. old from Milton, has been training for four years. Skipper currently trains at Windward Tennis Academy . She placed fifth in the event. “It was a really big tournament and my first time to Idle Hour. I had fun and I like the clay courts."
At the John Drew Smith Tennis Center, sixty-two kids from around the state entered the Middle Ga. Jr. Fall Champs, including 13 yr. old Philippe Lamarche from Alpharetta. He lost in his second main draw match to Macon resident, Christian Tinkey, 6-1; 6-1.
“It was hard to match the strength of his shots,” Lamarche said of opponent Tinkey. Lamarche dropped to the consolation bracket, worked his way to the finals but fell to opponent, Ben White, 6-1; 6-3.
Tinkey, who went on claim the boys 14s title said he had to concentrate on every point against Lamarche. “I had to try and win every point,” said Tinkey, “and run him.”