THE Echo’s chief sports reporter Chris Phillips has been shortlisted for a top tennis award.

Phillips raised £14,011 for South Essex and Central Essex Mind by playing tennis non-stop for 11 hours, five minutes at Southend Lawn last summer.

And his efforts have now seen him make a three person shortlist for the Lawn Tennis Association’s President Award.

“I still can’t quite believe it to be honest and it seems a bit surreal seeing my name on the shortlist,” said Phillips.

“I don’t really feel at all worthy of it, especially when you look at the calibre of the other shortlisted people but I love my tennis so I’m excited about going along to the awards.

“We get to go to Wimbledon and watch a whole day of matches on Centre Court as well and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Phillips played for more than 11 hours to mirror the famous match played at Wimbledon between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner back in 2010.

His charity challenge was supported by the likes of Judy Murray, Sue Barker, Ryan Peniston and Martina Navratilova while current Southend United boss Kevin Maher, ex Blues chief Steve Tilson and Millwall manager Neil Harris were among those to play against Chris.

“It was a brilliant day and one of the most enjoyable fundraisers I’ve done,” said Phillips.

“It was a great atmosphere at the club with so many different people getting involved.”

Phillips has now raised almost £120,000 for charity.

But he stressed it is about more than the funds being raised.

“Mental health is a big topic for me because it’s something I struggle with,” said Phillips.

“It’s important to raise awareness around mental health so that anyone suffering realises it’s not just them feeling that way and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Phillips now works closely with SECE Mind and also co-founded Run Free, a group which uses sport to help those suffering with any kind of mental health issue.

“We play football every other Friday and it’s brilliant,” said Phillips.

“Anyone with any kind of mental health issue is welcome along so please get in touch via social media or email if you would like to find out more.”

Chris has been shortlisted for the LTA President’s Award alongside Tennis For All Uganda and Ian Pearson-Brown.

More than 2,200 nominations were received for the awards and the winners will be announced during a ceremony at the start of July.