Cayman juniors successful in Jamaica

The Cayman Islands had seven of our top tennis juniors compete in Kingston, Jamaica for the last two weeks. The juniors, who have all played and trained at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club, with the coaching of Dale Avery and Rob Seward, recently participated in two fantastic regional tennis tournaments.

All seven juniors are among the best in their age groups in Cayman and returned home with what their coaches has described as fantastic results. The seven juniors that participated in the regional tournaments were three boys under 12’s: Jack Lomax, Oskar Bjuro, and Sebastian Bjuro; five in the boys 14 and under, Harrison Clough, Alex Claybourn, Jake Booker, Oskar and Sebastian Bjuro and Jack Lomax; one 18 and under Callum Theaker, who just represented Cayman in the NatWest Small Island Games.

Four out of the seven juniors from Cayman all came home with trophies.

For the past six years, Rob Seward, has taken Cayman’s top juniors to participate in the Blue Mountain Caribbean Open and the ITF/COTECC Regional tournaments held in Kingston, Jamaica.  This year the Blue Mountain Tournament had nearly 70 juniors participate from Cayman, Jamaica, Guyana, Great Britain, St. Vincent and Antigua while the ITF/COTECC tournament saw more than 100 juniors from all over the world.

The first tournament the juniors’ competed in was The Blue Mountain Caribbean Championships.  This was the sixth annual Blue Mountain and Cayman has participated in all six.  Llockett McGregor, a long-time tennis icon in Jamaica, started this tournament for the region so that it would resemble the long tennis history that the region has had to bring the juniors together for a fun and competitive environment while making life-long friends for the future.  All seven of our Cayman Juniors’ participated in this tournament.

In the individual age groups of the Blue Mountain Championships, Cayman did very well.

In the boy’s 12 and under division, Cayman had three representatives competing in the overseas tournament, Sebastian Bjuro lost a close one to the number 2 seed from Jamaica, Jairdain Gibbs in the quarters but then his teammate, Jack Lomax, beat the number 2 seed Gibbs in the semis for a bit of revenge.  Oskar Bjuro, the older brother, ended up beating the third seed of the tournament Katel Casserly from Jamaica and then beat one of Jamaica’s best in the semis, Delano Reeves to reach the finals against his teammate from Cayman, Jack Lomax.

There was an all-Cayman final where Oskar Bjuro defeated Jack Lomax 6-2, 6-3 as Cayman dominated this division.  This was the second year in a row where Cayman has dominated this division in Jamaica as last year Lomax defeated Bjuro in the finals.

In the 14 and under division, Cayman had three out of five players make it to the semi-finals.  Alex Claybourn and Jake Booker played in one semi-final while Keyondre Clarke played against Cayman’s Harrison Clough in the other semi-final.  Harrison defeated the number 2 seed from Jamaica, Daniel Azar to face the number 2 seed, Clarke in the semis.

Unfortunately, Clough had to retire from the match with a nagging injury.  His compatriot, Alex Claybourn defeated Jake Booker from Cayman in a tough two set match to face Clarke in the finals.  Alex Claybourn had a tough start in the final but came back strong to get the win in the third set while playing some of the best tennis is his tennis career and Cayman was able to take the 14 and under division as well at the Blue Mountain Championships.

Callum Theaker, coming in from the Island Games on the start of the tournament made it to the semi-finals where he faced a strong player from Great Britain, Zachary Phillips.  As he was getting used to the hard courts again after playing on Clay in Sweden played and lost a tough two-set match against his foe from England 7-5, 7-6 in the boys 18 and under division in the semis of the Blue Mountain Champs.  However, in the second ITF tournament he would get his revenge!


Boys 12U

Winner:               Oskar Bjuro (Cayman) 6-2, 6-3

Runner Up:        Jack Lomax (Cayman)


Boys 14U

Winner:               Alex Claybourn (Cayman) 3-6, 6-0, 10-4

Runner Up:        Keyondre Clarke (Jamaica)


Cayman had three juniors stay in Jamaica to participate in the ITF/COTECC events the following week.  Callum Theaker stayed to participate in the boy’s 18 and under ITF Tournament.

Theaker had to play Zachary Phillips in the first round of the tournament, a player that he just lost to in the previous tournament. Feeling a bit more comfortable with the hard courts and the weather, Theaker came out with a smashing result beating a player from Great Britian who is in the top 50 in the under 18’s and winning a fantastic match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

He then went on to win his second- round match against Alex Rose of Jamaica 6-1, 6-1, eventually losing to the number 1 seed.

Jack Lomax and Jake Booker also stayed for the second week of COTECC to participate in the COTECC under 14’s division. Both juniors had a tough qualifying round so although they did not get to the main draw they still got to get some experience in the consolation division.

COTECC is under the ITF and tries to make sure that all of the participants get a great chance to play in as many matches as possible while gaining a great deal of match experience and so the tournament is a fantastic way for these juniors to gain the needed experience to go further with their careers.  Jack Lomax and Jake Booker lost in the semi-finals of the consolation round in two very hard matches that could have gone either way.  They both teamed up in the doubles as well and lost in the semi-finals of the main draw against the number 1 seeds.

“All the coaches at the Cayman Islands Tennis Club are very proud of all the juniors that participated and competed in the two regional tournaments these past two weeks.  The juniors have trained hard and long hours to put them into a position to play at a high caliber of tennis,” said Seward.

“It is great to see that our juniors from Cayman are getting better and better each year and it is also fantastic to see that our younger players from CITC are also able to go overseas and compete well against older players.   As the results show, it is a great success from 10 years ago when our juniors went overseas to Jamaica and play and lose in the first round.  Dale and I are also very excited that for the last six years we have been able to bring more and more juniors to compete in these two tournaments,” the coach added.

He said this is the one way to continually improve our juniors by participating in overseas tournaments. As such, he thanked the parents in making this trip a possibility by funding his expenses to take our top juniors to overseas tournaments.

“It is also a great pleasure for me to hear compliments from Tennis Jamaica and the International Tennis Federation how much our Cayman Juniors have improved and how well-mannered they are all during the events.  I would also like to thank the organizers of the Blue Mountain Championships, Llockett McGregor, and the host families for putting up the juniors during the first tournament and to Tennis Jamaica for hosting the International Tennis Federation’s International Championships,” Seward added.

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