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Grantown Open Tennis Championships get off to good start with full day of play


By Gavin Musgrove

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Ross Lyon strikes the ball as doubles partner Fergus McWilliam watches on.
Ross Lyon strikes the ball as doubles partner Fergus McWilliam watches on.

The Grantown-on-Spey Open Tennis Championships are under way with the first day of play managing to avoid the sharpest rain showers today.

The tournament – which has been running for more than a century – will be contested over eight days on the clay courts with finals day a week today.

New to this year's tournament is over 45 years and over doubles for both men and ladies.

The grade four competition has 32 events with the youth section this year particularly strong.

Tournament referee Alan Russell told the Strathy: "The number of matches to be played this year is slightly up on 2021. This is due to their being a lot of eight and under, 9U and 10U entries.

"There will be a total of 145 players competing this week in 278 matches over 32 events from eight and under to 45 and over."

The first of the junior contests were completed earlier today with Cameron Cobban claiming both the boys 8 and under and 9 and under while Helen Gray claimed victory in the 8U and Lily Metelski was the victor in 9U.

Some of the play was described as excellent by spectators with the leading youngsters' technique singled out.

Heavy rain showers were forecast for late in the afternoon but they seems to mostly miss Grantown with humid conditions in the early afternoon giving way to cooler weather after a spell of light rain.

Walter Cruickshank of the host club reaches for the ball.
Walter Cruickshank of the host club reaches for the ball.

Mr Russell said: "The weather turned out to be a nice surprise. We were expecting rain but it has been nice and mostly dry. There was a great standard of play in the 8U and 9U today."

Junior contests for older children are scheduled through the week with 10U scheduled for tomorrow, 12U for Tuesday, 14U for Wednesday and 16U on Thursday with junior doubles being staged on Friday.

Fingers are crossed that Grantown manages to dodge the heavy rain showers which hit Aviemore earlier today and then dry weather is forecast in the main which will help ensure the tournament runs to schedule.

One of the highlights of the first day of play in the senior matches was number three seed in the men's singles Ross Lyon taking on his double partners Fergus McWilliam in an exhibition of hard hitting and deft touches. Lyon prevailed 6-3 6-3 and will now face number one seed Calvin Hepburn on Thursday at 5pm.

The doubles match between Fergus McWilliam (left) and Ross Lyon (second left) and Grantown pair Bruce Grant and Walter Cruickshank was played in good spirit.
The doubles match between Fergus McWilliam (left) and Ross Lyon (second left) and Grantown pair Bruce Grant and Walter Cruickshank was played in good spirit.

Lyon and McWilliam did not have much time to recover from slugging it out before they faced Grantown pair Walter Cruickshank and Bruce Grant but the visiting pairing proved too strong and ran out comfortable winners.

The competition continues and spectators are welcome to watch the tournament which is being sponsored by Grantown Caravan Park, AW Laing and the Speyside Centre at Skye of Curr.


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