Altrincham tennis ace wins under-18 tournament – aged 12

Oliver Critchley
Oliver Critchley

A young tennis ace from Altrincham has won his first Under-18s competition – aged just 12.

Oliver Critchley, a pupil at The Manchester Grammar School, entered into an under-18 grade-five tennis competition at David Lloyd in Leeds.

On his way to winning, Oliver won three matches, including victories in the semi-final and final against 17-year-old players ranked higher.

Mum Julie said: “Oliver played really well. His serve was the best I have ever seen and he was chasing down balls I thought he had no chance of getting. It was a very well deserved win.

“The referee of the tournament, who is a tennis coach, wrote to me after the competition to say: ‘Oliver was sensational yesterday, winning an under-18s tournament at 12-years-old. He was brilliant’.”

Last month, Oliver was invited by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to train alongside the very best young players in the north of England at the Bolton Arena, one of the LTA’s High Performance Centres and recognised as one of the best in the country.

Oliver has been playing since he was just four-years-old, and ended his last under-12 season ranked number one in Cheshire and in the top 50 in the UK.

In August, he represented Lancashire in an under-14 tournament in Wimbledon where he reached the last 16.

Director of Sport at The Manchester Grammar School Mark Walmsley said: “To win an under-18s tournament at just 12-years-old is a truly phenomenal achievement.

“We have always known how good Oliver is but to compete against, and beat, players who are five years older and more experienced than him shows what an exceptionally talented player he is, with a very bright future ahead of him.”

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