SQUASH: LEWIS Anderson will be gunning for glory this weekend when competing at the prestigious Dunlop British Junior Open in Birmingham.
The Solihull teenager will be one of 220 English players and 650 overall competing at the biggest event in junior world squash, which features over 30 nations up to under-19 level.
Due to the size of the event, the tournament will be played over four venues between January 3-7, with the finals hosted at Birmingham University.
Anderson enters the event in top form after claiming his maiden title at the British under-17 national title in October, which has seen him seeded for the under-17 category at the British Junior Open.
His win also saw him become the first Warwickshire male in over three decades to taste success at the British Junior Championships.
Anderson said: “I hope to play the best squash I can at the BJO and ultimately I would love to win but realise that there is tough competition from other countries.
“I played for England at the Junior European Championships in Prague, played in the finals in the English Championships in March and won the British Junior Championships in October.
“It made me realise that I can compete against the top players and beat them which has given me confidence since then.”
Anderson says the backing of two local coaches – Mike Edwards and Harris – has been the catalyst for his rise through the junior ranks.
He said: “At 11 I felt that I had to choose between squash and football as I could not commit to both sports.
“Thankfully, squash won as I just love to play this fast-paced game.
“While other juniors then changed coaches and clubs I have remained loyal to both and I feel that it is now starting to pay off.”
The Solihull Sixth Form College student has only just returned from the US Squash Open, where he finished seventh.
“I am hoping to study at one of the Ivy League Universities and had discussions with various coaches while I was out there,” said Anderson.
“It is great that the Commonwealth Games are coming to my local city in 2022 as it will be a great environment for me to see how the athletes at the top of the sporting game train, manage time and play.
“I am hopeful that squash will then become an Olympic Sport in the future.”
Lee Drew, England Squash national junior coach, said: “Lewis has improved massively over the last six months.
“He is a deceptive player, likes to hold the ball and express himself on the court.”
Dunlop is a proud sponsor of the British Junior Open and Official Ball Partner of England Squash.