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Stamford Father and Son Out to Ace Tennis Tourney

STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford father-son combo Lawrence and Terry McGrath are looking to take home the title of the First Niagara Family Classic this year, having reached the semifinals a year ago.

Nine-year-old Terry, a fourth grader at Our Lady Star of the Sea School, teamed up with his father to defend their title at the recent New Haven Open Family Classic at Shippan Racquet Club. The parent-child tournament features some of the best junior players in the region. The pair went undefeated in their five matches to advance to the First Niagara Family Classic championships, which will be held July 21-22 at Yale University. The finals will be held on the university's stadium court during the New Haven Open , which will take place this year from Aug. 19-25.

“We want to go out there and have fun in the championships, but also think we have a shot at winning,” said Lawrence. “The junior players in the team that beat us and the team who won the championship last year both aged out, so barring any new teams entering this year, we’re one of the favorites going in.”

Terry reached the No. 1 ranking last year in the Boys 10-and-under division in New England and has since begun competing in 12-and-under events. He started when he was 5, hitting against a backboard. He enrolled in the junior programs at Shippan Racquet Club two years ago.

Lawrence, a 4.5-rated U.S. Tennis Association player who has been playing for 10 years, introduced Terry to the game and credits the instructors at Shippan Racquet Club for his son’s success.

“It won’t be much longer before he’s carrying me on the court,” said Lawrence.

Taina Dube of Shippan Racquet Club contributed to this article.

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