SOUTHEND player Ryan Peniston exorcised the ghosts of defeat by winning the national singles and doubles 18 and under finals.

Peniston only dropped one set on his way to the two titles in Nottingham.

“I am really happy to have won both titles because I lost in the final of both events last year so the victory was even sweeter,” said the 18- year-old player.

“It ranks very highly on my career achievements and it a nice one to have because so many successful people have won it before me.

“I had to play five s i n g l e s matches – and didn’t lose a set – and three doubles matches. I won some doubles tournaments when I was younger but this has to be my best doubles win to date.”

The national victories followed a successful summer where Peniston helped Essex to promotion in the Aegon County Cup.

He was part of the men’s team which finished top of Group Three at Frinton last month in the annual LTA tournament.

Peniston is currently in America where he has just started a tennis scholarship at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

“I will be here for a while and using the amazing coaches a n d facilities to improve my game,”

the teenager added.

Peniston was top seed in the 18 and under singles and saw off William Spencer 6-0 6-3 in the first round, before defeating Vincent Gillespie 6-0 6-0 in the second.

He dispatched ninth seed Joe Woolley 6-2 6-3 in the last eight to set up a semi-final clash with Sam Rice, which the south Essex player won 6-2 6-2.

The final saw Peniston beat Tom Hands 6-3 6-1 to claim the trophy.

Peniston and Chris Morrow were top seeds for the doubles and had a bye in the first round.

They defeated Benjamin Clark and Ben Jones 6-1 6-2 in the quarter-final to book a semi-final showdown with Vincent Gillespie and Callum Macgeoch 6-1 0-6 1-0 (5).

Peniston and Morrow then beat number two seeds Ricky Hernandez Tong and Miles McDowell 6-2 7-6 (4) in the final.