Lucas Taylor serves up a national title triumph
PUBLISHED: 17:58 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 05 October 2010
East London junior tennis ace Lucas Taylor pulled off the finest victory of his young career by winning the 12-and-under AEGON Junior National Championship
East London junior tennis ace Lucas Taylor pulled off the finest victory of his young career by winning the 12-and-under AEGON Junior National Championship in Bournemouth.
Taylor, 12, secured a straight-sets win over Scotland's Vincent Gillespie to lift the prestigious title in last Wednesday's final.
The Hackney City Tennis Club ace lived up to his billing as tournament favourite after overcoming his doubles partner and No2 seed Gillespie 6-2 7-6 in a thrilling match in hot and sunny conditions at the West Hants club.
Taylor, from Barnet Grove, Tower Hamlets, seemed to fly through the first set, losing only two games with the help of some solid baseline hitting.
But the second set was a tighter affair, with Taylor spurning five match points as Gillespie picked up his game and fought for every point.
The Scottish youngster fought hard to take the set to a tie-break but Taylor would not be denied and finally sealed the outcome with his sixth match point to secure the title.
The Bridge Academy pupil later expressed his relief at making his superiority count after five missed opportunities to end the match.
"It feels really good to have won - I'm glad I got there in the end because I had five match points during the match which I let go," Taylor said.
"Vincent played really well and really put the pressure on. When it went to a tie-break it was just really frustrating because I know I should have maybe won some of the earlier points so I was really relieved to win in the end."
Despite playing and practicing regularly with his opponent, Taylor added that he had put his friendship with Gillespie to one side during their final clash.
"Vincent is my doubles partner but we've played against each other so much that it's not like that affects how we play each other," he explained.
"We both really wanted to win and you could tell by the way neither of us would give up. We both kept fighting so it was a really hard match."
The pair underlined their status as the country's leading pair in the 12-and-under category by teaming up to take the doubles title later in the day.