While many school children were enjoying the July school holidays, the Clarke children spent their first week of the holidays at Newcastle competing in the 2011 NSW Country Closed Junior Championships. This tournament was open to all NSW Country Tennis players where 154 juniors participated in over 45 events in the week long tournament.
Blake, Corey and Krystal competed in 12 events in their respective even and odd age groups where they played singles, doubles and mixed doubles during the week.
Friday 8th July saw them compete in 11 events on finals day with resounding results.
Blake was seeded 1 in all his contested events and Corey was the top seed in the under10 and 11 singles and seeded number 4 in the U/12 boys doubles.
After progressing through the early rounds of the U/12, Blake was dominate in the quarters and semi.
In the final Blake was victorious (6/1, 6/2) and he also won the U/13 boys singles (6/1, 6/3) and the U/12 mixed doubles (6/2, 6/0) and runner up in the U/12 boys doubles (4/6, 6/4, 8/10). In only dropping 7 games in both singles finals Blake displayed excellent tennis skills which he has worked so hard on and caps off a great tournament.
Corey won the under 10 singles (6/2, 6/4), won the mixed doubles with his sister Krystal, runner up in the under 11 boys singles and made it to the semi finals in the 12 boys doubles where they were beaten by the eventual winners. Corey was very dominant in the under 10 which saw him only drop a hand full of games. Corey showed some great left handed angles and the power in his ground strokes was remarkable for a 10 year old.
The surprise packet was not from Blake or Corey but from their little sister Krystal who displayed the court craft and stroke play of someone years older not from a 9 year old. Krystal was the winner of the Under 10 girls singles, mixed doubles with Corey, runner up in the 10 girls doubles and runner up in the under 11 consolation final where she played a girl who is 2 years older. Krystal amazed everyone with her shot selection and showed she is getting power in her shots especially her lethal forehand. In her under 10 singles final Krystal won 6/1, 6/4. In the mixed doubles Krystal showed that she could handle the other boys power and partnered her brother Corey with distinction.
An absolutely fantastic effort by all three siblings with the “yeah” of the week to Krystal, who many thought because of her age would be competitive but her results amazed plenty. These results saw the Clarke children add another 11 trophies to their trophies cabinet.
With the weekends respite Blake and Corey unpacked and repacked and headed off to Sydney for their second week of the school holidays to compete in one of the biggest junior events on the tennis calender the “2011 Metropolitan Hardcourt Junior Open Championships”. This tournament is a “Gold” ranked tournament and attracted 418 competitors with 81 playing the under 12 and Corey being one of 29 in the U/10’s.
With Blake’s Australian ranking he was seeded No. 2 in the U/12 singles and number 1 with his Sydney partner in the U/12 Doubles. Blake powered through to the quarter finals only dropping 2 games through rounds 2, 3 and 4. The quarter final showdown was against a Sydney boy who is in the NSW state academy. Blake showed his dominance throughout and was the victor in straight sets 6/1, 6/4. The semi final saw a tough competitor - fulltime in the state squad and with an even keel in the head to head saw Blake play consistent powerful tennis and was the semi-final winner 6/4, 6/2.
The final saw Blake take on the number 1 seed from Sydney and everyone knew it was going to be a tight affair and it lived up to all expectations with a huge crowd looking on. Blake won the first 6/4, the second proved a tougher set but Blake lost it in a tie-break 6/7 (3/7). This made for an awesome final third set where again it went down to the wire but Blake’s mental toughness and determination saw him win the third set and the match 7/5. (Final score 6/4, 6/7, 7/5). During the past year, this win now gives Blake White, Bronze, Silver and Gold tournament wins.
Corey contested the U/10 which was a 4 pool round robin. Corey won his pool and played the semi final against the winner of pool D and E. Corey won the semi-final 6/4 and the final saw him against a boy from southern NSW and this was a very tight match with Corey unable to convert match points and eventually went down 9/7. Both boys showed tennis above their years and displayed great shots and awesome rallies.
Both Blake and Corey also played in their respective doubles finals. Blake won 9/7 in a third set super tie-break and Corey won his final 9/1. Blake and Corey said they would sincerely like to extend their love and gratitude to their nanna and pop (Barbara & Ron) for taking them to Sydney, getting them to their games on time and for their support during the week long tournament”. These results will see Blake and Corey stay within the top 5 players of their age group in NSW. This caps off a remarkable 2 week school holiday vacation with all 3 siblings doing what they love and will see them back at training next week with their coach Danny Biancardi from Sporties Tennis Club at Tuncurry.