Clayton blazes tennis trail with UK’s best

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The Caesarean Tennis Club member plays in the finals next Saturday in Bournemouth and is the first Jersey player to get so far in the competition since the young Jeremy Cross made the grade.

CI Lawn Tennis Association chief officer Hugh Raymond said: ‘Scott reached the finals after winning all three matches at Sutton in Surrey.

Sutton is always one of the hardest qualifying events because some of the top juniors in England come from that catchment area.

‘He won his first two matches in straight sets, then his third match started at 5 pm that same day and there were two hour-long rain delays in the middle of it.

He was playing another strong player and they were at one set all and 6-6 in the third and had to play a tie-break, but Scott kept his nerve to win.

‘These are heady days for Channel Islands tennis, because Guernsey’s Heather Watson is in the U14 girls final and is seeded number two.

It just proves that with the right programmes, coaches and facilities in place, even small counties like the Channel Islands can produce top players.’ Also playing in the UK next week, at the All England Wimbledon Club in the finals of the Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Challenge, are Jersey’s Kirsten McArthur and Charlie Cohen, both members of the Caesarean Tennis Club.

They stopped off in Sicily in May to compete in the Jeux des Iles along the way.

These two reached the final stages of the Road to Wimbledon event last year and other Jersey players – among them James Connelly and Sarah Jones – have also trodden the hallowed turf in previous years.

Around 15,000 youngsters from all over the UK set out to make their way to the famous club finals, with just 44 county winners and the 20 best runners-up, in both the boys’ and girls’ events, getting through to the final stage.

Tournament director Paul Hutchins, former British Davis Cup captain, said: ‘For many players the chance to play at Wimbledon in this event is the highlight of their tennis career.

Grass-court tennis is often new to players these days, but everyone will play at least four matches and will gain invaluable experience on grass.’ The youngsters who have reached this stage will also enjoy a tour of the All England Club and the new Wimbledon Museum, as well as a boat ride up the Thames and a trip on the London Eye, and the overall winners will receive Waterford crystal trophies and a trip to the French Open in Paris.

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