Mother Nature wasn't kind this weekend but several of the south's best young tennis players stuck it out for a shot at a title.
Over 80 players hung around in Bainbridge Monday and Tuesday for the USTA Georgia Alabama State Junior Open. Play was rained out Saturday and Sunday.
Players came from all over Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, all seeking that championship.
While it's a little early to speculate how good some of these kids may become, tournament director Tim Thompson knows it's tournaments like this that will help build the future of the game.
"So many of the top talent that's being developed over the years has been from the south. Whether it's in college or the professional ranks, because we have so much nice weather, it's important the players get that court time," said Thompson.
Many of these players have their eyes on chasing a national championship, and winning in Bainbridge is just a step towards that.
But for these kids, just having the chance to play here gives them something they'll remember for a long time.
"i like to think we give the biggest trophy too, so they'll remember it for several reasons," laughs Thompson. "Even the little things that they may not remember, the off-court lessons and the work ethic that they get out of it is also something they'll hold on to for the rest of their lives."
Thompson says the goal of the tournament is to now grow it for the 2017 edition.
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