Matthew Rutter receives his award from referee Peter Grimsdale

Rutter Wins regional tour event

Exeter Tennis centre star Matthew Rutter has stormed to victory in the 9U Bournemouth Grade 3 Regional Open.

The Exeter School pupil was joined in the final at Westhants High Performance Centre by fellow Exeter Tennis Centre performance player Daniel Mountford, following a dominant performance from the pair in the opening rounds against many national level opponents.

Matthew and Daniel went into the tournament as the top two seeded players and didn’t disappoint, neither dropping a single match in the group stages. In a closely fought final Matthew overcame his teammate winning in straight sets, 7-4, 7-3, despite a solid performance from Daniel.

The event saw some of the best young players in the country compete in three set tie break matches over one day. Throughout the year competitors accrue points for their performances which count towards National & Regional rankings. Having finished 2nd and 4th in last season’s regional rankings, Daniel and Matthew will be hoping to build on these results.

The victory comes in the middle of an impressive season for Matthew. In late July he finished runner-up in the West Bridgford (Nottingham) Grade 3 Regional tournament and 3rd at the Loughborough regionals, facing some of Britain’s top youngsters in each event.

Matthew and Daniel also both qualified for the Bath Grade 2 National competition. The 'TeamBath CoMpete National Open Tennis Festival' saw the top 32 players in the country compete on 24 July. An excellent performance saw Matthew reach the quarter finals, finishing seventh overall.

Earlier in the year Matthew was also selected from players across the South West to take part in a display on the grass courts at Wimbledon. The display saw the young player perform before large crowds, providing valuable experience and confidence for later tournaments

Alongside the boys, some of the centre's other top players have enjoyed a number of notable successes so far this summer. Cornishman Louis Davey (nine) reached the quarter finals of the National Grade 2 Bath U10 event despite being a year younger than his competitors.  St Leonards’ Jessica Hill (nine) also made the semi-finals at last week's Taunton Regional Grade 3 tournament for the first time, with Mountford finishing third and Rutter fifth in the same event.

The players are part of Exeter Tennis Centre’s Mini Performance Programme where they receive regular coaching and conditioning sessions from Performance Manager Charlotte Wallace.

Charlotte said: “July has been a very busy month, but the players have all put in exceptional performances. To be competing at such a high level at such a young age is an incredible achievement and testament to all of their hard work. They are competing in top regional and national events and are consistently proving themselves as some of the best young players in the country.

“It can be incredibly difficult to juggle regular training around home work and other commitments, but St Sidwells and Exeter School have been really supportive and encouraging which has helped the players succeed. These results have been a really positive start to the summer season and with such good support around them I have no doubt the rest of the season will be just as successful.”

Date: 1 August 2013