SQUASH: RISING squash star Lewis Anderson secured his maiden national title at the British Junior Championships.
The Shirley-based teenager stormed to a 11/7, 14/12, 7/11, 9/11, 11/8 victory over Scotland’s Alasdair Prott to become the first Warwickshire male in over three decades to taste success at the annual championships.
Anderson dictated the first two games at a furious pace, racing into a 2-0 lead as he opened up his Scottish opponent.
But Prott proved why he was the top seed and matched Anderson in the third, winning 11-7.
Anderson was in the driving seat after a 5-1 lead in the fourth. But a determined Prott battled back, producing a brilliant volley to level at two games apiece.
And in a nail-biting last game, it was Anderson who kept his cool at 9-9 to power to a two-point victory.
Speaking to The Observer, Anderson admitted there were a few nerves before the final.
He added: “Once I got on court I was able to take an early lead and win the first two games.
“The fifth game was about staying mentally strong and it reached 8-8 and I could see the finish line but needed to stay focused and be patient.
“When I finally won I felt relieved and ecstatic.”
Anderson, who trains at Edgbaston Priory, now has the US Open took look forward to in December before taking the country’s best players in the British Open a month later.
The 16-year-old has played squash since he was a toddler, and he hasn’t put down his racket since.
He said: “I train because I love the sport.
“I always dreamt of reaching a high level but wasn’t sure it would ever be achievable.
“I reached the English National Finals earlier this year. Since then I have trained hard and worked on my mental side of the game so I’m ready.”
And the talented youngster hasn’t ruled out the option of taking the game up professionally.
He said: “I have always wanted to be a professional player but you have to be at the top of your game to make it a career.”