OOSTERBEEK - The world's best tennis players from 12 to 14 years play their balls at the tennis club OTV in Oosterbeek between 13 and 20 July. OTV organizes this year, after a very successful 1st edition in 2018, for the second time the DunoAir Windmill Cup.
What do Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Maria Sharapova have in common? They played in their junior years all in the junior tour, part of the Windmill Cup, which in July lands on the courses of OTV in Oosterbeek.
The international category 1 tournament is part of a series of five grand slams that the Young Stars Association holds for young tennis talents. Next to Oosterbeek is played in Paris, Nantes, Cologne / Düren and Hasselt.
Tournament director Arjen Knulst, who is also head coach at OTV. ,, It was a very successful 1st year with beautiful weather. We will largely take over the concept of 2018, but new aspects will also be added. We focus more on site events during the preliminary phase and during the week. The tennis tournament is the most important thing, but we will organize events for as many target groups as possible. "
A coach from the Young Stars Association with more than 50 top players and their coaches travels past grand slams for five weeks. Furthermore, national teams from South America, Africa and Asia come to Oosterbeek. ,, But there are also individual players. Everyone can register '', says Knulst.
The young tennis players are accommodated with host families and hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Hartenstein sport park. Bannink: ,, Preferably within walking distance. The construction with host families is unique. The young people think that is wonderful. ''
For the third time, the top tournament for 12 to 14 year olds is combined with a wheelchair tennis tournament for players up to 18 years of age. Knulst: ,, We try to fully integrate that into the event. That is also a great wish from one of our partners, the province of Gelderland. ''
The organization, including host parents, appeals to some 200 volunteers. Chair referees are not covered there until the semi-finals. There are supervisors, but the players decide for themselves whether a ball is in or out. "They generally come out together," says Bannink. ,,I think that's quite unique.''