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Young tennis stars get to see the best

KEEP an eye on the stars of the future at next month’s World Tennis Challenge at Memorial Drive.
21 December 2011, by World Tennis Challenge

Tom Dougherty

KEEP an eye on the stars of the future at next month’s World Tennis Challenge at Memorial Drive.

Current and former stars of the tennis world descend on Adelaide next month for the Challenge, as do International Club 16 and Under Junior Challenge players.

Heats have been held in Europe, Australasia, North America, South America and Africa, and two boys and two girls from the winning nation of each continent will compete in the finals in Adelaide next month.

Davis Cup star and former Australian Open chief executive Paul McNamee said the competition was a great opportunity for young players.

“The essence was a sport of goodwill and friendship, not an elite tournament,” he said.

“It’s a junior challenge to put something back into the sport.”

Mr McNamee said Adelaide was the perfect location to host the finals in Australia, happening just before the Australian Open.

“South Australia had shown some interest previously in holding the finals – this couldn’t have happened without Tennis SA,” he said.

“The festival of tennis that happens at the same time in Adelaide is great.

“The kids will get to see the best players in the world while they are there.”

However, he said he hoped John McEnroe had mellowed with age so young players did not pick up any bad habits from the vocal former world No.1 when he competes in the World Tennis Challenge.

After the International Challenge wraps up, the competitors will go to the Australian Open in Melbourne.

“It is the culmination of a trip of a lifetime for many of these kids,” Mr McNamee said.

The event is held every two years. This year the finals will include Argentina, Germany, India, South Africa, Canada, Australia and possibly the US.

Matches will be held at Memorial Drive during the day during the World Tennis Challenge.

The round-robin competition begins on January 10, with the final on January 14.


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