The first annual Bjorn Munroe Junior (Jr.) Tennis Tournament was in full swing this past weekend, June 8-9, and champions of that event were crowned this past Saturday, June 9.
The tournament featured players out of Grand Bahama and players out of Florida.
Jerald Carroll managed to walk away with three titles at the close the tournament. Carroll first won the Boys 12 and Under division championship when he took on Garrett Eaton.
Carroll bested Eaton in two sets, 2-0 (6-3; 6-7) to claim his first championship of the tournament.
He later defeated Eaton once again, 8-1, in the Boys 14 and Under championship. He later teamed up with Eaton to take on the pair of Bayanne Ferguson and Georgia Mills in the 14 and Under mixed doubles. Carroll and Eaton won that contest 8-1.
The boys 18 and Under crown went to Kofi Bowe. The 18 and Under champion defeated Michael Reckley, 6-1 and 6-0 in that match.
Bowe later picked up a win with Reckley in the 18 and Under mixed doubles, when the pair defeated Hailey Waguespack and Kelly MacKenzie 8-0.
In the girls 12 and Under competition, Sapphire Ferguson out-lasted BreAnn Ferguson, 6-3 and 6-2. The duo played off once again for the girls 14 and Under championship. Sapphire got the best of BreAnn once again and won that contest 8-4.
Gabrielle Simms claimed the girls 16 and Under championship after she defeated MacKenzie, 6-0, 6-0.
In the girls 18 and Under contest Waguespack out-lasted Abigail Simms, who had to retire in the second set. The final score of that contest was 7-6, 3-1.
While the numbers for the tournament in terms of competition were not what the tennis pro anticipated, Munroe expressed that he was just thankful to get it started.
“I am very excited to get it off the ground,” he shared, “We had a lot of community support - Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Ministry of Tourism - it was great that they came out. Even Minister Minchael Pintard was out here and gave his grace on the event.
“My goal is, again, to develop kids on the island through tournaments. In the end that’s how they’re going to get the scholarships...Our numbers weren’t exactly where we wanted them to be but we got enough kids to get a good start.”
Munroe enlightened this daily that one of his goals is to further motivate juniors and show that he went through the same thing as a junior coming up in Grand Bahama. Furthermore, Munroe was even more impressed with the talent that was on full display this past weekend.
“I think the caliber is good. I was very impressed with the local talent like the Simms sisters and Jalissa, the 12-year old who is ranked number one. I was very impressed with that Grand Bahama talent pool. I really want to help in anyway and get them over there.
“I’m the director of a big club over in West Palm Beach and I have kids I develop over there but I really want to look out for my own as well. We (Grand Bahama) have the talent.”
Moving forward Munroe is hopeful that the tournament can become a fixture in the community for young tennis players to look forward to each year.