Haileybury’s top tennis players have been performing tremendously on the national and international circuit recently, with two young players doing well in America in December. Stephanie Cornish recently played in the under-12 Girls Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, a tournament which is generally considered to be the World Junior Championships. She qualified by getting to the last 8 of a 128-person qualifying draw. In the main draw she beat a seed in the first round and eventually lost in the quarter finals to a Californian who went on to win the tournament, beating the British No. 1 in the final.
Her results included wins against the Japanese No. 2 and the No. 8 seed from Canada. She was also the only other British representative to reach the quarter finals.
"My results far exceeded my expectations and when I entered I thought I would do well just to qualify!" Stephanie says.
In England, she has been playing in the under-14 Girls Winter Grand Prix Circuit, where she has qualified for all of the three main draws. She’s had wins against the No. 2 in her age group as well as against several of the top girls in the country in the age group above her, and finished position 5-8 in the last main draw.
Stephanie is hoping she has done enough to qualify for the Grand Prix Masters Finals in February, a decision which will depend on the number of points won in her two best tournaments.
"Based on my results in the Orange Bowl and Winter Grand Prix Circuit, I have also been invited to play in ‘Teen Tennis’, an under-14 international competition taking place this week in Telford. Jocelyn Rae, the British No.1, and I are the only two British representatives from our age group," she explains.
Meanwhile, David Rice had a disappointing end to a magnificent run when he had to pull out of the Orange Bowl International tournament at the quarter-final stage after suffering from a stomach muscle injury, while leading opponent Deni Zmak 6-3.David had already won four matches on his way to reaching the latter stages of the tournament.
Earlier, David had reached the boys doubles final at the Eddie Herr International tournament, also in Florida. He and his playing partner, Darren Walsh, were beaten 4-8 by US pair Bradley Cox and Jarmere Jenkins after winning four matches on their way to the final.
Well done to both players!