Former Totally Tennis performance player and Sherfield School Tennis scholar Dean Cooper Kirby competed in the ITF Junior Masters Grade 4 tournament at La Libertad in El Salvador.
Cooper Kirby, who is now residing and playing tennis full-time at the Gomez Tennis Academy in Florida, won all three of his qualifying matches to gain a place in the main draw. He won his first round match against Rodrigo Zelaya 6-1, 6-1 and moved into round two where he found himself up against Alvin Tudorica, a giant 6ft 6 Canadian ranked 551th in the world and although he played really well he lost 6-4, 6-4.
Dean’s Columbian coach Raul said, “I am very pleased with Dean and he could of won.” After his first ITF tournament everyone now knows Cooper Kirby’s ability is to the standard needed for these world level tournaments. If he had won this match he would have won five games in a row and gained ITF points and a world ranking but unfortunately four wins didn’t result in any points so he now had to win two doubles matches to win any points.
He played doubles with Sam Scherer, a player from the IMG Academy in Sarasota, Florida. The pair won their first match, a close and evenly matched game against a pair from the home nation, El Salvador 6-2, 6-0. Their second match was against a Mexican duo who last month had played in two quarter finals for Grade 4 ITF’s so it was always going to be a tough match. This match was not only crucial for the pair to progress into the quarters but would also guarantee Cooper Kirby earning those important ITF points. The boys won the first set, lost the second 6-3 so it went to a tie-breaker but they held strong and gained a two point lead 9-7 with Cooper Kirby serving for the set and the match, he held his nerve and they won 10-7.
Cooper Kirby said “I was nervous going into the serve knowing this point would win the match and more importantly ITF points.”
The pair were then in the the quarter finals but sadly lost against a South American pairing 6-1, 6-2. Cooper Kirby now has those much needed ITF points and a world ranking which will make it a lot easier for him to plan his tournament schedule as he knows he will be accepted.
The ITF Junior World Tennis Tour* gives young players all over the world an opportunity to compete, develop and travel the world, with many of the best players going on to be hugely successful on the professional tours. The ITF Junior Circuit provides opportunities at all levels of the game and to develop the stars of the future.
*Information used with courtesy of www.itftennis.com/juniors/
Read more about Dean Cooper Kirby in previous posts HERE