Stony Stratford tennis youngsters have a ball before Murray-Federer final

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WITH Andy Murray going close to Wimbledon glory, British tennis is at an all-time high, and the ripple effects came be felt at grass roots level in Milton Keynes.

Before Roger Federer realised he was in for a big test on Centre Court, members of Stony Stratford Tennis Club got together to compete in this year’s third annual Generations Tournament.

Tennis is a social, competitive sport that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and on Sunday some 42 parents, grandparents and children partnered up to play in the doubles competition.

The adults and juniors paired up with each other and were divided into different ability groups. The youngest players were only four-years-old, but with the encouragement and support of their parents, the potential future stars flourished in the rare spell of British sunshine.

After three hours of tennis, a BBQ to fill everyone’s bellies, plus Wimbledon style strawberries and cream, and Pimms at hand, the winners and runners-up from the groups were decided.

In the Mini Tennis Red section – which was played on a small court for the benefit of the youngest players – eight-year-old Chelsea Reed and her mum Anita triumphed, with four-year-old Emily Marshall and her dad Trevor taking the silver medals.

The occasion brought great delight to seven-year-old Owen Poole as he teamed up with mum Jaime to win the Mini Tennis Orange section which was played on three-quarter length courts. The runners-up were Alfie Aldred and his dad Duncan.

In the Mini Tennis Green section – played on full courts with a 25 per cent slower ball – seven-year-old Louis Cooke and his uncle Chris took the honours, with Bhargav Andukuri and his dad Sesha coming close in second place.

In the top section that was played on full courts with normal tennis balls, 11-year-old Emily Honor took great delight in teaming up with club member Phil Marsh to win against her dad Jez Honor who had teamed up with nine-year-old Connor Kruse.

Following the presentation of medals, everyone gathered in front of the large screen inside the clubhouse to cheer on Andy Murray.

Stony Stratford Tennis Club’s director of tennis, John Cavill, organised the event and said: “It’s days like this which make you want to play tennis and be part of such a wonderful game.

“I partnered up with my six-year-old son and all I could hear were cries of encouragement from all the adults right across all the courts.

“These children are very lucky to have such supportive families – very much like Andy Murray himself. Who knows, maybe the next Andy Murray was playing on the day.

“We’re a very welcoming family club and are always looking for more people to get involved and play this wonderful sport for a lifetime.”

To get involved call 0203 286 5590 or email stony@tennisworks.net.