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Risbygate Tennis Club ‘so proud’ by U10 British champion Herbie Morris and semi-finalist Freddie Clarke




Risbygate Tennis Club are basking in the glow of success, after two of their juniors took first and fourth place at the recent British U10 Championships.

Herbie Morris, 10, and Freddie Clarke, 10, represented the Bury St Edmunds-based club at the national tournament as well as coach Paul Hope’s Titan Tennis Academy.

Morris was crowned champion, coming through four rounds to become the top ranked British U10 player, while Clarke finished fourth for his ranking.

Freddie Clarke in white, Herbie Morris in Black, Paul Hope (Titan Tennis) in Yellow. Herbie (1st) and Freddie (4th) competed for Risbygate Tennis Club at the British U10 Championships. Picture: Contributed (16032725)
Freddie Clarke in white, Herbie Morris in Black, Paul Hope (Titan Tennis) in Yellow. Herbie (1st) and Freddie (4th) competed for Risbygate Tennis Club at the British U10 Championships. Picture: Contributed (16032725)

Hope said: “It’s brilliant for them both, their progress has been off the charts this year and it’s ended with this success, which shows just how well they have done.

“There’s a huge amount of pride from the club, we have never had this kind of success – we’ve never had a national champion.

“And now we (Risbygate) have two top up-and-coming tennis stars. We really are punching to have two from the same club competing in national tournaments and finishing first and fourth, it’s just ridiculous.

“It really does feel like this is the start of something special for them both.”

He said they would now be stepping up the U12 age group, which will see them also get their first shots at competing at the Road to Wimbledon tournament, a youth competition culminating at SW19.

“The target is to get in the top 100 in the first six months and then top 20 in the following six months,” Hope said. “But, if I’m honest, I think Herbie could be top five by the end of next year, he’s got the ability.”

He said there was a lot to be impressed by as they navigated the top level competition last month, but it was in their mature reaction and mental handling of it that convinced Hope that they are both ready for the next age group.

“I’m just so proud of how they went about their business,” he explained. “All the GB coaches were there from all the regions and that definitely adds an extra dimension and level of pressure.

“It was also a well-attended event and, for the players, it’s almost gladiatorial in the atmosphere and they dealt with it like it was nothing.

“That’s what most impressed me, they gave 100 percent at all times and handled whatever was thrown at them, it showed me they are ready to push on to the next stage.”

Herbie beat Archie Gray in a three-set final to take the U10 crown, dropping the first set before winning through 1-4, 4-2, 10-5.

He beat Freddie in the semi-finals 4-1, 5-3 to deny his Risbygate team-mate a last two place.

Herbie beat Pavana Nrshinga and Rocco Richardson to reach the final four while Freddie beat Rhys Lawlor and Antonin Kotak.



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