The Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association has announced the team for its first competition of 2014.

From February 24 to March 1 Bermuda’s male juniors will compete in the renowned Junior Davis Cup Tennis competition in the Dominican Republic. 

The tournament is a pre-qualifying event where the winning team earns a place alongside powerhouses the US, Canada and Mexico. The final qualifying round will take place in May of this year.

In this 16-and-under age group, Bermuda’s team consists of Nicholas Lines, Tanner Boyle and Dylan Powell. The non-playing captain is Jerome Bradshaw.

The team has been working hard in training and match-play exercises since the Christmas break and are in their final stages of preparation before they depart for Santo Domingo on February 22.

Approximately 16 countries are expected to take to the courts at the National Tennis Center in the week-long slug fest.

The eligible player age range is between 13 years and 16 years, which represents a birth year between 1998 and 2001. Many of the world’s top senior players have competed in this event in their region during their tennis developmental years.

The format for the team competition is to be confirmed on site, however the usual arrangement has been for an initial round robin followed by a knockout and feed in position draw.

Each tie will consist of two singles matches and one doubles match. Total matches won will decide the winner of the tie. Ultimately there will be the winning country followed by position placements from two to 16. In the 2013 event Bermuda finished 12th out of 15.

Coach Bradshaw said in a press release: “The BLTA has been sending its junior boys and girls to these team events for the past five or six years.

“It is natural for the players to compare their results to those of predecessors. Aside from the comparison interest, the main goal is to provide developmental experiences for the Bermuda players, by exposing them to unknown competition.

“They understand that they will be playing amongst some countries that are at our level, as well as some very strong, more seasoned players whose only interest is tennis, even in this under 16 age group.

“In terms of an expected result, our first goal is to make the ‘Main Draw’, and then do the best we can and pick up some valuable experience along the way.

“This is an individual sport using a team format. There will be the individual pride of performing in individual matches, but they also understand that they must win at least two out of the three matches to win a tie. We will be pleased with making the main draw, anything better would be an additional thrill.”