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Taylor called up by Great Britain

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

By PHIL RAVITZ LUCAS Taylor has been dubbed the East End s answer to Tim Henman after receiving his first international call-up this week. Taylor is one of four youngsters named in the Great Britain Under-12 tennis squad to face Poland in a junior interna

By PHIL RAVITZ

LUCAS Taylor has been dubbed the East End's answer to Tim Henman after receiving his first international call-up this week.

Taylor is one of four youngsters named in the Great Britain Under-12 tennis squad to face Poland in a junior international match that concludes today.

For Taylor, who first picked up a tennis racket at the age of four, it is another significant step in a promising career in the sport.

The 11-year-old, who lives in Barnet Grove, Tower Hamlets, first attended a come-and-try tennis session at Victoria Park, where he was recommended to the mini tennis team coached by Christian Coombs at Queensbridge Leisure Centre.

Coombs has been Taylor's regular coach for the past six years, culminating in this week's Great Britain call-up and he predicts a bright future for the youngster.

"Being a top tennis player is a marathon, but at the moment Lucas is in the ideal place for some one in his age group,'' he said.

"It's too early to say exactly how good a player Lucas will be - I doubt if we will know until after he is 15 or so - but Tim Henman is an example of someone who was a late developer."

Taylor has impressed the national selectors with a series of strong performances in recent weeks, including a surprise showing at the renowned Bressuire tournament in France.

Although he was not selected for the official Great Britain team in Bressuire, he attended the tournament as an independent competitor with Coombs and shocked the selectors by reaching the semi-finals and winning the boys' doubles.

His achievements in France surpassed a number of the boys selected ahead of him, and his eye-catching displays were officially recognised with his call-up for the match in Poland this week.

"I encouraged him to go over to France for the Bressuire tournament and his showing there certainly got him noticed," said Coombs, who trains Taylor at the Hackney City tennis club.

"It's fair to say Lucas is our top player at the club at the moment, but we have over a hundred playing in top performance squads, so there are many more not far behind.


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