SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-Competing was something these tennis players really missed last year.

But that didn’t mean taking the year off.

“Mid-covid tournaments were stopped, so it was a lot of training and house workouts, but tournaments are opening up again so its good to be back competing with everyone again, said Kosta Kollias, a Longmeadow tennis player.

“All the courts were locked down and we aren’t able to get on the court and now we are hosting this beautiful tournament with all these great players,” said Wayne Harrell, Tournament Director of the USTA New England Junior Championships.

64 young tennis players went head-to-head on the hard courts at Forest Park, the destination once again for the USTA New England Junior Championships.

“I love playing out here its pretty much my backyard,” said Kollias. “Its always nice to see the courts filled up, the people on the sidelines.”

The best tennis athletes from around new England were playing in this tournament. They played in hot conditions this Father’s Day, but they were just happy to be on the court again.

“Without tennis tournament last year, it was difficult to test your ability, said Nora Dumala of Wilbraham. “But now that they are back, its nice, and gives me a great opportunity to compete.

Tournament play continues through Tuesday, where the last boys and girls standing will face off in the finals. But that’s something the top seed isn’t thinking about.

“I’m going to look at this next match who I’m playing against, two solid competitors one is only 14, you never want to lose to someone who is younger than you,” said Alexander Visser of Westport, Connecticut.

Visser hopes to play on the professional tour one day, something players in past tournaments have gone on to achieve.