Local success for tennis aces

Boys' U14 section winner Matthew Telford, runner-up George Young , third placed player Robbie Webster and fourth placed player Tim Bryce from Whalton. Picture by Keith Robertson.
Boys' U14 section winner Matthew Telford, runner-up George Young , third placed player Robbie Webster and fourth placed player Tim Bryce from Whalton. Picture by Keith Robertson.

There was some local success at the 11th Ponteland Junior Open Tennis Tournament.

The total of 135 entries was an increase on the 2013 event and there were quite a few talented junior players from Yorkshire, Durham, Cumbria and as far afield as Hampshire.

Age categories ranged from Under 8s to Under 18s and most competitions had a playback or consolation draw.

The matches gave players from Ponteland Tennis Club a chance to pit their skills against good youngsters from other parts of the country on their own doorstep and for some it was their first taste of competitive tennis.

There were many decent Ponteland performances and the club won two events – Emily Allison in the U10 Girls’ Singles and Alastair McLeod in the U8 Boys’ Singles. James Dodd was runner-up in the U10 Boys’ Singles, having beaten higher seeded players, and Isabella Goodall was runner-up in the U9 Girls’ Singles.

Francesca Burrin was third in the U14 Girls’ Singles, which followed her recent form by winning the club U14 Road to Wimbledon final that meant she played in the county final.

The event was sponsored by Horton Grange Country House Hotel and matches took place at the club and Ponteland Middle School.

Gabriel Rodda won the Ponteland Tennis Club final of the national U14 Road to Wimbledon competition against William Capps.

The 13-year-old then went on to win the county final, which means he has now qualified to play at Wimbledon in the national finals next week.

He is in quite a line-up of previous Ponteland players who have also achieved this great opportunity to play at the world’s greatest tennis venue. It includes his sister Olivia in 2012, Claudette Gilhespie, Christopher Jeffery, Jack Heslop and Ben Lott, who actually reached the final at Wimbledon and now has an ITF and world ranking.

Ponteland Tennis Club’s U9s and U10s Mixed teams and the U12 Boys’ and the U14 Girls’ teams all won their respective North East AEGON tennis leagues against clubs from Northumberland, Durham and Cleveland.

These teams will all receive accolades at the forthcoming Northumberland Tennis Awards evening.

Marcus Jeffery, Emily Allison and Kirstin McLeod achieved county honours after representing Northumberland in the U10 County Cup event at Sunderland in July.