Tennis ace Ben makes his mark

Ponteland teenage tennis star Ben Lott. Photo by Nick Clark.
Ponteland teenage tennis star Ben Lott. Photo by Nick Clark.

A PONTELAND tennis ace is starting to make his mark on the senior game.

Ben Lott has reached the number one ranking for Northumberland men as well as under 18 level and is now climbing national lists following a string a impressive performances.

Following a successful summer in which he obtained a tennis world junior ranking by winning the under-18 ITF tournament in Dublin, the 17-year-old continued his good form in the last few months of 2010.

This included a runner-up finish in Stirling at a British University Challenge event beating adult players many ratings higher than himself on the way. He then won an under-18 Aegon Regional Tour in Sheffield.

Into 2011, playing for the Northumberland Men’s team at the Winter County Cup in Gosling, Hertfordshire, Ben won all of his singles matches against higher rated opposition along with one doubles match with his brother, Matthew.

From there he went straight to an Aegon Men’s British Tour event in Cambridge, where he came through qualifying to reach the main draw quarter final.

Following this he reached the semi-final of the under-18 Aegon National Tour event in Nottingham and the quarter final of the Aegon Masters event in Roehampton.

In April, Ben recorded his first win on the senior ITF circuit with a win against world ranked Joshua Jones at the Newcastle £10,000 Futures event.

Following a break for exams, Ben returned with a bang when he reached the quarter finals of the Edinburgh under 18 ITF event at the end of June.

In July, he and his brother played in an invitation doubles event in Stirling (Bridge of Allan) featuring some of the best doubles pairs in Scotland, and won the event.

Ben then represented Northumberland in Men’s County week and played for Esporta Wearside in the national finals of the under-18 Team Tennis event, sponsored by the LTA’s main sponsors AEGON, winning all his singles and doubles matches and helping the team to take the title.

He also won the under-18 singles title and reached the quarter finals of the Men’s Aegon British Tour event in Ilkley, as well as being selected as one of Sport Newcastle’s Rising Stars for 2011.

Ben is now up to eighth in the national under 18 rankings and he is the 136th best male player in Great Britain.

His dad Chris Lott said: “Ben is currently playing the Northumberland Open event in Jesmond and travels to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton for the under-18 Great Britain Nationals tournament on Monday.

“After this event, Ben plays a Men’s British Tour tournament in Sutton and will be travelling to an overseas venue for a junior international tournament in the last week of August.

“Ben’s ambition is to obtain a tennis scholarship to an American university in 2012, and he is aiming to improve his junior world ranking over the next few months.”