Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Top seeds Phadria Kepple and Ryan Simms are among some of the island's best junior tennis players who will be parading their skills on Saturday's opening day of the two-day Petcom Open Junior Tennis Championships, which will be held at the Liguanea Club on December 15 and 16.
Kepple is down to compete in the girls' Under-18 singles while Simms will participate in the boys' Under-18 category.
Llockett McGregor, the tournament director, made the announcement during Wednesday's press launch at the Liguanea Club.
Erica McKenzie, marketing representative of Petcom, who are sponsoring the tournament for the 15th year, said her company is committed to helping with the development of the sport.
"Petcom continues to sponsor this tournament because we believe in the development of our young Jamaicans and we believe in the development of sports," said McKenzie.
"This provides a grand opportunity to really nurture the young talent that is in the tennis arena," she said.
McKenzie added: "Tennis is a growing sport and we have been with the event since its inception, and we are going to continue with the development as it grows from strength to strength. We are looking forward to a very exciting championships from our juniors because I know that everyone will be going all out to win this tournament."
McGregor said he was very thankful for Petcom's sponsorship because it brings together Jamaica's best junior players.
"It is always a pleasure working with Petcom because their contribution is now bearing fruits," said McGregor.
"We have quite a number of players who have played in this tournament that have gone on to universities by the way of scholarships, and also to represent Jamaica at a very high level," he said.
The tournament, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, is expected to attract over 90 participants, vying for trophies in the boys' and girls' Under-12, 14, 16, and 18 categories.
The winners and runners-up in each category will earn points towards their national ranking, as well as prizes offered by Petcom.