welcome to the
City of Liverpool
2010 Junior 4 Star
Table Tennis Tournament
Welcome from the Liverpool League Chairman: Don Davies
May I start with a warm Liverpool welcome to players, officials and spectators to the City of Liverpool Grand Prix. Six weeks ago, more than 200 players filled this sport centre in the season's first senior grand prix which was a great success. Many of those who participated, return to Liverpool each year as do, age permitting, many for this junior event. This is the 10th staging of the junior tournament (previously included as part of the Merseyside senior Open) and after last year's fine turn out, we have another healthy entry of 170 from the four home nations plus a couple from Jersey. Former Merseyside junior boys champions include, Denis Neale, Mike Johns, Alan Hydes, Trevor Taylor, Jimmy Walker, Chester Barnes, Donald Parker and Des Douglas and all but the latter trio, also claimed the men's title. Former England number one and national champion Carole Knight, took the girls' title in 1973, but perhaps the most famous name to capture the crown was Adrianne Shirley (Ann) Haydon. She won the combined girls'/boys' title in 1953 and the women's singles crown four years later plus the doubles tide on three occasions, all in open age play.
Ann continued to improve and amazingly, reached the world women's singles final plus the two doubles finals and started off in 1958 as 2 in the world. Finally, she did 'the impossible, by winning the Wimbledon women's singles title in 1969, avenging her final defeat of two years earlier by the same player, Billie Jean King (USA). Truly amazing.
But, on to this weekend's events, and in the open singles, Derbyshire's Danny Lowe stands out as favourite to take the trophy, ranked at 34 in the senior men's rankings and 6 in the junior list. His expected final opponent, England number one Cadet, Igor Morais (Midd) is only two places behind him in the junior list but stands adrift of him at 128 in the men's ratings. However, he will be wary of Morais, who chalked up a 3-1 British league success in over England number 18 senior, Craig Bryant a fortnight ago. James Ward (Staffs) is at 10 (S3) with Da Shua Zhang (Sx) (S4). Completing the top four line-up. Lurking at fifth seed in the draw is Adam Nutland (Wor) one of only two in the top twenty here, who played in August's senior G.P. and is listed as !4th junior and 144 in the men's standings while Lee Morgan (Wales) is another to watch out for after collecting a winners' cheque when beating Liverpool's Steve Green 3-0 in the Band 3 final.
Chloe Whyte, the fifth ranked junior girl in England and seeded at one, is due to face Derbyshire's Abbie Milwain (S2) in the final hut will be hoping to go one better than her clash with Karina LcFcvre in the Under 21 event here in August, when her Commonwealth Games bound Cleveland friend won 3-1 in the final. Both reached the quarter-finals of the women's singles here in the G.E Miss Whyte holding a 2-1 lead against Angharad Phillips before bowing out 11-9 in the decider while Miss Milwain, went down 3-0 to the eventual runner-up, Lauren Spink. Isobel Ashley (Dy) and Liverpool league player Janey Gibson (Ch) ranked at 18 and 27 respectively in England, met here in August in the Band 3 final, the former taking the title. The above successes achieved in a senior open GP bodes well for this weekend's tournament when, hopefully, they and you, fulfil your individual expectations.
Finally, no tournament can be staged without a number of key factors falling into place. The obvious and probably, the most important ingredients required are, players' and a suitable venue. Initially, nothing else is required. However, once those things are in place, officials and helpers are jointly, just as important. Rarely does a league own premises large enough to stage a tournament of this size so, another key factor is sponsorship which may be in the form of money or, in our case, the free use of a sport hall such as this tennis centre. For that the Liverpool League can thank the City Council and in particular, Richard Johnson, the City Council's Sport and Recreation Manager, who has continued to be the most generous sponsor and friend, any league could wish for.
I'll finish by thanking another 'old' friend, referee Mick Strode who kindly agreed to spend another weekend away from home to oversee this tournament, and it's much appreciated. Umpires, local league officials and those invaluable men, some of whom, don't even play the sport, yes, the table shifters who lug forty halves on and off a vehicle on Friday afternoon before setting up the twenty, or on some occasions, thirty courts. Of course, the arena has to be 'struck' when play ends while most players are on their way home. In Liverpool, this procedure is carried out three times every season by friends and officials who, collectively, have an average age of over 65 and do it, for the love of the game. For dial, the League is most grateful and to all who may have assisted in order to bring you this wonderful tournament. I sincerely hope that those who have made the effort to support the event by playing, officiating, ferrying players from home and back or, simply by watching the action, enjoy their visit enough to return in 2011, perhaps in both tournaments.