TENNIS: Aldbourne's Butler wins British title
ALDBOURNE tennis starlet Samm Butler has been crowned boys’ under-18s champion at the British Junior National Championships at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
The 18-year-old triumphed 6-4, 6-2 over number one seed Ryan Peniston in the final to follow in the footsteps of previous winner and reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
Number two seed Butler raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set and although he was tested in bruising rallies throughout, his opponent never recovered from that early blow.
Ahead of his departure to university in the United States in September, the teenager admitted the tournament victory was the perfect way to bow out of the junior ranks.
“I couldn’t have asked for a much better way to end my time in junior tennis,” said Butler, who did not drop a set in the tournament.
“I have made a few finals recently and not quite managed to win, so to see out my junior career with a win in nationals is just fantastic.
“I’m going to play in some professional ITF events until I head to university but the standard is very good out there.
“When I come back I will continue looking at trying to make it as a professional player, but right now I am enjoying the moment.
“It means a lot to have won the nationals trophy and it just goes to prove that hard work really does pay off.”
Butler trains at Team Bath and head coach Jim Edgar insisted that Butler’s win was a huge source of pride.
“Samm has been a product of five years’ hard work and it is fantastic that all that has paid off,” he said.
Tournament director Richard Joyner added: “Huge congratulations go to Samm for winning the British Junior National Championships.
“He played outstanding tennis all week and showed the talent and the mentality to beat some of the best British junior players to go all the way.”
Prior to defeating Peniston, Butler beat Andrew Watson (6-4, 7-5), Sam Price (6-3, 6-2), Chris Wood (6-0, 6-1) and Liam Earnshaw (6-4, 6-0).
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