DAVID Watson signed off from Essex junior tennis competition with victory over club-mate Harry Randle.
The Thorpe Bay Tennis Club won 6-4 4-6 6-3 to win the 21 and under men’s final at the Essex County Junior Closed after a two-hour match.
And 21-year-old Watson was delighted to secure victory after winning at 12 and under level nine years ago.
“It was brilliant to win and I think I played my best tennis ever,” said Watson, who has been a member at Thorpe since he was 10.
“Harry was a great opponent and he came back at me in the second set, so I reset the clock in the third and played as if it was a first set.
“I put a lot of hard work in training for the event, with Harry as my hitting partner, and I’m glad it played off.”
And there were lots of other successes for south Essex players at the event, which is the most presigious annual junior tennis tournament in the county.
Thorpe Bay member Edward Pudney, who also plays at Ipswich Sports Club, easily beat second seed Alexader Chao in the 12 and under final.
The boys’ 14 and under singles was a repeat of last year’s final. This year Andrew Berry (Westcliff Hardcourts) narrowly beat Edward’s brother Tom Pudney (Ipswich Sports Club) in the third set tie break. Andrew and Tom then beat Alexander Dodd (Harlow) and Jacob Ducksbury (Chelmsfordians TC) in the 14 and under boys’ doubles in two close sets.
And Andrew completed a hat-trick of wins by teaming up with Caitlyn Hardy (DL Chigwell) to easily win the 14 and under mixed doubles.
Westcliff Hardcourts’ Sam Bayda was fourth seed in the boys’ 16 and under singles. An easy run took him to the final where he beat top seed and defending champion Jared Linzell (Woodford Wells) in an exciting match.
Sam also won the most improved player trophy after losing to the 2011 recipient, Woodford Wells’ Tom Styles, in the 18 and under singles final.
Thorpe Bay’s Georgia Wheatley was placed second in the round-robin 21 and under ladies’ singles because Cary Gilbert was forced to retire through illness after the first set.
The referees’ trophy was awarded to Darien Lamb and the most improved under-14 player was William Thomson.
The tournament was refereed by Mark Bragoli, plus Westcliff couple Lesley and Ian Pitt. Essex County LTA thanked Thorpe Bay TC for hosting the event.