Totally Tennis performance players Dean Cooper Kirby along with siblings Liam and Isla Hignett travelled to Nottingham to compete in the Grade 1 Junior National Tennis Championships 2018 held at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Accompanied by coach Jordan Frederick, Cooper Kirby played in 14U Boys Singles event where his first round opponent was second seed Roan Jones who is number 2 for his age group in the UK and a team GB player. Even though he won the first set 6-2, Cooper Kirby lost the second set 6-0 and then fought hard in the close tie-break set before eventually losing 7-6(3) to make an early exit from the competition.
Brian Cooper Kirby said, “Jordan accompanied Dean to the event and witnessed him totally controlling the first set before taking his foot off the gas in the second. In the deciding set Dean and Roan were neck and neck with most of the spectators watching the game.” He added “Dean was level 4-4 serving to take lead but was broken by Roan to lead 5-4 and serving for match, Dean stepped up again and broke Roan to level 5-5 then they both won their next games to level the set 6-6 for a set tie-breaker which Dean lost 7-3”
Cooper Kirby has now left the UK having made a permanent move to Florida to train full-time at the Gomez Tennis Academy in Naples, Florida and attend a school linked to the academy based in Fort Myers.
Liam competed in the 18U Boys Singles but also lost in the first round against third seed Daniel Martin 6-1, 7-6(4). He then played in the 18U Boys Doubles with partner Kyle Stocker but the pair were knocked out in the first round by Deji Thomas-Smith and Patrick Young with a 6-2, 6-2 scoreline. Younger sister Isla played in the 16U Girls Doubles competition partnered with Maisie Wood and together they were beaten in their first match by Jessica Dawson and Jayanne Palma 6-2, 6-3.