Carlton International Youth Tournament – Daniel McMillan

From Boxing Day to the 30th of December 2018 I participated in the Carlton International Youth Tournament, Hoensbrook, Netherlands. I played in all three days, the 1st being the first rounds, the 2nd was the semis and finals and the 3rd was the team event. Unfortunately I was unable to acquire a mixed partner.

The first event of the day (28th) was singles and for some reason I had been seeded so I had a bye and was waiting to see if I played a fellow English player and ForzaWM sponsee Zak Linley-Moss. It was a good game, except I kept on playing poor shots to his forehand and was deservedly punished for them. I was controlling the net throughout the game but was beaten by a better opponent on the day. That was my singles finished, so I had to wait for doubles, hoping that I could do well in this event or else I was done for the weekend. I also didn’t want to let down the impression we had as first seeds.

It was a long wait before I started my doubles with Joe Scott. We were lucky starting off with a not so challenging game to get us back into our normal rhythm. We won that game and then had to wait for the other match to finish. It was into the third set when I started watching and a pair from Luxembourg were up 19-11 against the German pair, who ended up winning 22-20. After that comeback we were expecting a little more of a fight, but the game was almost handed to us. Giving us another win and securing us a place into the semi finals the next day.

Our semi-final the next day we had to play a Swedish pair, one of whom was in the pair we played in the final of Finland. We won that game in two sets and were through into the final against a French pair that we hadn’t met before and who were just as strong and physical as we were. We won the final in three sets 27-25, 18-21, 24-22, and we were down 20-18 each set so did well to come back and win. I was so pleased as that was our second international win in a row; the Finnish U15 and now the Carlton International Youth U15 Netherlands; and in our final U15 tournament before we moved up to U17 in 2019.

But we weren’t quite finished, day three was the team event where 3 English – myself and Zak Linley-Moss (both sponsored by Forza WM) and Liam Purton joined forces with two Dutch girls Chloe Li and Stephanie Njisse who kindly joined our team. Their’s was the winning touch and although It was really tiring we won all 4 matches to be U15 Team event champions!

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