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International tennis returns to Sunderland – Sunderland City Council

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An international junior tennis event which has launched the careers of some of the world’s greatest players returns to Sunderland next week (10-12 February).

This is seventh time Sunderland’s Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis & Wellness Centre will have played host to the under-sixteen boys qualifying event of the Tennis Europe Winter Cup, with some of Europe’s finest young male tennis talent taking part. The city last hosted the event in 2020 before the pandemic.
 
Sponsored by the international sports equipment manufacturer Dunlop, eight European teams will compete in three days of top-class international junior boys tennis. The event culminates with the winners and runners up progressing to the European finals before the closing ceremony on Sunday afternoon, 12 February.

The teams taking part are Great Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic,  Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine with representatives from the tennis association of each country joining their players and coaching staff for the opening ceremony performed by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alison Smith at 9.30am on Friday 10 February.

Each team will be led out into the main sports hall by pupils from Thorney Close Primary School Sunderland, to be welcomed by their national anthems, with the flag of each country displayed proudly throughout the tournament.

Competitors will receive a civic welcome from the Mayor, along with local ward councillors and community sport partners.

Councillor Smith said: “As Mayor of Sunderland I am delighted to be welcoming this prestigious competition back to our city. This is one of the most important tournaments in international junior tennis and the event has produced some of the world’s greatest players over the years.

“I’d like to thank tournament partners Tennis Europe, the Lawn Tennis Association and international sponsors Dunlop for choosing us again to host this fantastic event.”

“It’s testament to Sunderland’s proven ability to successfully stage high profile sporting and cultural events, and I’m sure we’ll see some future superstars competing at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis & Wellness Centre over the course of the competition.”

Play will start each day at 9.30am and will finish at around 3pm. Friday and Saturday and at around 2.30pm on Sunday. The event is free of charge for spectators with no booking required and free car parking available.

Since it was launched in 1977 the annual Tennis Winter Cup sponsored by Dunlop, has developed and grown to become the sport’s most important indoor junior team tennis competition. Some of the biggest names in world tennis have graduated through the junior ranks of boys’ and girls’ tennis into adult competition.

Britain’s most successful player Andy Murray along with fellow international Tennis superstars Rafa Nadal and  Roger Federer have previously competed as juniors, while  Laura Robson and Victoria Azarenka also appeared in the competition during their early careers.

Councillor Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, added: “It’s fantastic for the city and the region that the 2023 Finals are being held in Sunderland, with our partners at Everyone Active managing this fantastic tennis facility on behalf of the City Council.

“Our city has a proud history of delivering world class international tennis events, and I am sure that all the teams competing will have a great experience during their stay with us and spectators will enjoy watching some amazing matches between potential superstars.

“I hope seeing the tennis superstars of the future in action at the Tennis Centre, will encourage more young people to try out the excellent facilities and tennis coaching sessions available in Sunderland, and provide a sporting legacy for future generations.”

 

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