The U15/U19 Midland Junior Championships took place at NICC Perth on 21 and 22 January 2023.
In the U15 age group Tushara Senthilrajaram claimed an impressive treble, with Arnav Saraswat and Alfie Martin taking 2 titles each.
Both U15 GD and BD events were played as a round robin pool on Saturday. Tushara teamed up with Shreya Vargheese, winning all their matches in straight sets, beating their closest challengers and runners-up Thenoo Annamalai & Jaagruti Mannen 21-19, 21-12 in the decisive pool match. In BD Alfie Martin & Arnav Saraswat likewise won all matches fairly comfortably, with Max McCabe & Luke Parkinson runners-up.
In the Sunday afternoon session, Tushara continued her dominance in the GS event, although Ingrid Wang put up a determined fight in the final. Tushara then paired up with Alfie Martin in XD to complete her treble – this was the last match of the Championships and proved to be one of the best matches of the weekend, just edging out top seeds Arnav Saraswat & Qing Yang Xiao 23-21 in the 3rd set.
Earlier, Arnav & Alfie had also faced each other in the BS Final. Again the pair delivered a fine match, with Arnav justifying his No1 seeding taking the 3rd set 21-13.
The qualifying pool stages of U19 age group singles & doubles were held on Saturday, with lots of closely fought ties and exciting matches going the full distance. Some players may have been inspired by Andy Murray’s never say die spirit, special mention to Vibha Raman/Eva Tremble who played successive 3 set matches both lasting fully an hour!
An already busy planned schedule for Sunday was further complicated by major road closures between Glasgow & Perth. Thankfully all players managed to arrive without any serious delay, though it did mean that rest times between matches had to be kept to a minimum.
The Finals session opened with Singles, the top 2 seeds reaching both BS and GS finals. In the BS Final Matthew Waring proved too strong for Finlay Jack, putting in a very impressive performance in winning 21-12, 21-8. The GS Final saw No2 seed Katrina Chan eventually overcome top seed Iona Muir in a very close and exciting match 21-18, 22-24, 23-21.
The XD qualifying pools session in the morning was very competitive, so no surprise to see a hard fought final with Anthony McGuire & Brooke Stalker defeating Josh Taylor & Katie Stewart in 2 close sets.
The BD final followed, with Josh & Evan Kenny getting the better of Anthony & Howard Cheuk in straight sets. In the last match of the U19 event, Brooke claimed her second title of the day in GD, pairing up with Iona to defeat the unseeded Katrina Chan & Amy Craig in 2 sets.
Thanks to NICC facilities staff for their support during the weekend, and also to the BSCO umpire team for officiating all the SFs & Finals putting in a long session with very little breaks.
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