Biondo tournament keeps growing

junior tennis: Organizers expect more local players in coming years

With its 27th iteration having wrapped up on Aug. 4, the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club’s Biondo Junior Grass Court Championships continue to get bigger each year.

This year’s tournament attracted about 100 players ages 18 and under from across B.C., with most making the trip to the Island from Vancouver.

“It’s just a good tournament,” said tournament organizer and SCLTC resident pro Art Hobbs. “It’s becoming a destination tournament for some of the parents and players. I think it’s just the novelty of grass and that it’s a fun-oriented tournament.”

The tournament had about 80 entries last year, and in years before that, it was “quite small,” Hobbs said. There’s still a little room to grow.

“It works pretty good,” he said. “We could handle maybe another 30 kids.”

The entries included just a few from the Cowichan Valley. Jessa Michieli reached the finals of the U14 girls singles, and won the U16 girls consolation bracket. Also competing were Nolan Burton and Grace Haugen in the U12 boys and girls events, respectively. Hobbs believes the number of local players will go up.

“I think tennis is building quite a bit in the Valley right now,” he said. “I expect there will be more kids in the next couple years from this area.”

Winners at this year’s tournament were:

U12 boys singles: Keita Duclos

U12 boys doubles: Benjamin Dee and Aaron Ungprasert

U12 girls singles Elizabeth Prilepin

U14 boys singles: Dilraj Singh Phull

U14 boys doubles: Jackson Boone and Dilraj Singh Phull

U14 girls singles: Elizabeth Prilepin

Ui4 girls doubles: Danica Davidovic and Inaya Halaba

U16 boys singles: Sebastian Dee

U16 girls singles: Victoria Macfarlane

U18 boys singles: Pan Anmoson

U18 boys doubles: John Dempsey and Ryan Picken

U18 girls singles: Victoria Macfarlane

The next event, and last major tournament of the summer, at the South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club, is the Kay Wilson Memorial Mixed Doubles Triple Knockout, which runs this Friday to Sunday.