Junior National Championships 2021: Shaw and Jansen crowned 18U champions
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Eva Shaw of Nottinghamshire and Middlesex’s William Jansen have been crowned champions in the 18 & Under Girls and 18 & Under Boys events at the LTA’s Junior National Championships – victories which mean both players now receive wild cards into qualifying for The Championships, Wimbledon.
The event, which took place on the grass courts of Surbiton Tennis Club, saw 138 junior players from across the country compete for the boys and girls national titles in singles and doubles.
Winning the national junior title has traditionally been a stepping stone on the journey to becoming a professional for the country’s leading players, with the roll of honour including such names as Andy Murray, Heather Watson, Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans, Anne Keothavong and Tim Henman.
Shaw, 16, who trains at the National Tennis Academy at Loughborough University as part of the LTA’s Performance Pathway, defeated Suffolk’s Kylie Bilchev 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) in a close contest that came down to the wire. It was a double celebration for Shaw, having also won the 16 & Under event the previous week.
After claiming her latest national title, Shaw said: “Today’s match was a tough fight but I thought I performed really well. In the first set she came out quite strong which put me under pressure but then I started to play some of my best tennis.
Meanwhile, Jansen 16, prevailed 7-6(4), 6-4 against top seed William Nolan of Derbyshire in the 18U Boys Singles to claim the title.
Speaking after the match, Jansen said: “I went 3-1 up but then he came back and it was pretty tight throughout. I just dug in and pulled my way through it and fought for every point. It was an amazing match and I’m just so happy to win.
“It’s always has been a dream of mine to be competing at such a historic club, especially as a Brit. The experience is immense and I would like to thank the LTA and All England Lawn Tennis Club for giving me this opportunity.”
In the doubles events, Nolan partnered with Derrick Chen (Cambridgeshire) to claim the boys national title 6-3, 7-5, while top seeds Jessica Dawson (Yorkshire) and Alicia Dudeney (Sussex) won the girls crown, 6-1, 7-5.
As a result of their victories, Shaw and Jansen become the first junior national champions to benefit from a new initiative introduced by the LTA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club that will see them receive a wild card into the qualifying event for The Championships, Wimbledon at Roehampton next week. The pair, together with runners-up Bilchev and Nolan, will also all receive wild cards into the main draw of the Wimbledon Junior Championships.
The LTA Junior National Tennis Championships form part of an annual calendar of local, regional and national tennis competitions supported and delivered by the LTA for players of all ages. The Junior National events for players aged 14 & Under and 12 & Under will be held at Nottingham Tennis Centre from 16-21 August.