Junior Davis Cup: Great Britain finish sixth in Orlando finals
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Last week, Great Britain's Junior Davis Cup team travelled to Lake Nono, Orlando for the Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals. Led by LTA National Age Group Coach Chris Wilkinson as captain, and with the support of LTA Performance Lifestyle Advisor Dominic O'Hara, the team featured 16-year-olds Jack Pinnington-Jones (Surrey) and Derrick Chen (Cambridgeshire), and 15-year-old Lui Maxted (Sussex).
The annual competition saw the world's top 16 teams compete for the title and Great Britain rose to the occasion, finishing in sixth place overall.
The first three days saw the boys progress in the initial round-robin stage of the tournament. After being drawn in Group A, they faced Bolivia on Tuesday, Canada on Wednesday and the USA on Thursday. Each tie comprised of two singles matches and one doubles rubber.
The boys got off to a strong start by recording 3-0 victories over Bolivia and Canada, before they suffered a tight 2-1 loss to top seeds USA. Chen and Pinnington-Jones fell short in the singles, but Chen and Maxted teamed up to win an epic doubles thriller 7-5, 6-7, [11-9]. The team's impressive round-robin results meant that they finished second of their group, enabling them to advance to the knockout stages.
They took on Group D winners and eventual champions Japan on Friday, but their run was brought to an end after they fell 2-1. Chen put up a strong fight to capture his third straight sets victory of the week, but Wimbledon Boys' Singles champion Shintaro Mochizuki levelled the tie with a battling three-set win over Pinnington-Jones, before Chen and Maxted fell 2-6, 6-7(4).
After bowing out at the knockout stages, the team went on to play Hong Kong and Spain to decide their overall result. They went defeated Hong Kong 2-1 on Saturday, but lost 1-2 to Spain on Sunday which meant they finished sixth in the competition.
Wilkinson said: "Finishing sixth in the world is very encouraging. The boys proved themselves against the best juniors in the world and were very close to going all the way. The players will remember this experience for the rest of their lives."
Get the lowdown on all results from the week here.
Team events like the Junior Davis Cup are part of the LTA’s National Age Group Programme. The programme gives junior players the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the world in their age group, providing a valuable experience as part of their development along the Player Pathway.
On top of the match action, the boys got a glimpse of what it's like to compete on the pro tour, from receiving feedback from the LTA Performance Analysis team to attending a presentation by the ATP on the different elements of support players can access as professionals. They also spoke to the Tennis Integrity Unit to learn about preventing corruption in the game.