Teams from eight European countries will be in action at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre in the under-twelve girl's finals of the annual Tennis Winter Cup (8-10 Feb).

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Lynda Scanlan, will officially open the finals of the under-twelve girl's finals of the Tennis Winter Cup at the Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis & Wellness Centre tomorrow at 9.30am with three days of world class competition (8-10 Feb).

It's the fifth year Sunderland has hosted the annual tournament sponsored by international sports equipment manufacturer Head, with some of Europe's finest young female tennis players taking part.

The opening ceremony will welcome competitors and coaches from the eight teams who have come through the qualifying rounds to get into the finals ;  Great Britain, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Each team will be led out into the main sports hall by pupils from Thorney Close Primary School, to be welcomed by their national anthems, with the flag of each country displayed proudly throughout the tournament.

Play will start each day at 9.30am and will finish at 3pm Friday and Saturday and at around 2.30pm on Sunday. The event is free of charge for spectators with no booking required and free car parking available. 

The event will culminate with the winners being crowned European Champions before Sunday afternoon's closing ceremony.      

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: "This is a great opportunity for everyone to come along and watch some of Europe's finest young tennis players.

"Entry is free over the three days of the event, and I hope it encourages people not only to get involved in tennis but also to find out more about the wide range of sport and leisure activities and facilities we have across the city."     

Since it was launched in 1977 the annual Tennis Winter Cup sponsored by Head, has developed and grown to become the sport's most important indoor junior team tennis competition. Some of the biggest names in world tennis have graduated through the junior ranks of boy's and girl's tennis into adult competition.

Britain's most successful player Andy Murray along with fellow international Tennis superstars  Rafa Nadal and  Roger Federer have previously competed as juniors, while  Laura Robson and Victoria Azarenka also appeared in the competition during their early careers.