Anders Gibbons of the U.S. eyes the ball during first round action in the Victoria International Junior ITF tournament at Panorama Recreation Centre on Tuesday. (Steve Heywood/News staff)

Junior ITF tennis tourney at Panorama Recreation this week

North Saanich venue hosting its fifth Victoria International Junior ITF tournament

The singles field is down to 64 competitors this week in the fifth Victoria International Junior ITF tennis tournament at Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich.

Eighty-six players, girls and boys, in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior ranks started the qualifying rounds over the weekend in singles and doubles action and the first round of play started Tuesday morning.

The event draws young players from across Canada, the U.S.A., Mexico and from as far away as Japan, Bulgaria and Brazil. They are each competing for points on the international tennis rankings list.

“There are about 40 players here who have international rankings,” says Eric Knoester, racquet sports co-ordinator for Panorama Recreation. “Others are here with only one or two years’ experience and are trying to get on that board.”

To gain points, Knoester explained, the competitors have to win matches at events like this one. Win enough of them in a row, and the players attain a ranking.

In this week’s tournament, the girls’ singles field is led by number-one-ranked Sophia Ho from Canada and second-ranked player Laura Arce from Mexico. Canadian players fill out the other top six positions. Among the boys, the number one seed is Canada’s Razvan Baiant, with Canada’s Niels Van Noord in second spot.

A win in this tournament, Knoester added, can allow a player to jump 100 to 150 spots in the ITF rankings at this level.

This is Panorama’s fifth Victoria International Junior ITF tournament and Knoester said they added their first Panorama international tennis event earlier this spring. Both events, he said, are an opportunity for local and national players to compete at an international level while staying a little closer to home. The events bring young players back each year, as they advance in their tennis careers.

The tournaments, Knoester said, bring the players, their families and coaches to the Saanich Peninsula and they represent a $50,000 to $60,000 boost to the local economy — whether that be in hotels or restaurants.

“It’s an eight-day event. It adds up.”

The second round of action goes Wednesday and quarterfinals start Thursday (8:3o a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). Semi-finals are Friday (8:30 a.m. to around 4 p.m.) and the final matches are Saturday.

Knoester said public seating down on the Panorama courts will be in place starting Thursday, allowing people to come by the tennis facility and watch some great tennis action.



editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Millstream Road closed to traffic at Bear Mountain Parkway

Downed hydro pole blocking both lanes at Industrial Way

Bike dragged several blocks after hit and run

Wheel-less bike dragged underneath van along Dallas Rd. after cyclist hit

Man arrested at gunpoint outside Vic High

Police were called after he allegedly threatened a teacher with a knife

New bike facility pitched for View Royal Park

Park would encourage more youth to ride

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

Charges follow collisions between pickup and police vehicles in Nanaimo

Majore Jackson, 32, and Andrew John Bellwood, 47, from Nanaimo, face numerous charges

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

Most Read