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Gale-force blows through Chateau
THERE was double delight for Walditch’s Levi Gale after he bagged two titles at the French Junior Open real tennis tournament.
Arriving in Chateau de Fontainebleau a day before the event, the 15-year-old was able to practice on the largest real tennis court in the world.
He soon got to grips with the dimensions of the court, which hosted the men’s 2008 World Championship final. On day one of the competition, Gale topped the under-16s’ group without losing a single game, thus ensuring his place in the final. The under-18s’ cate-gory offered tougher competition but again Gale topped his group convincingly.
On day two, the finals took place and in the under-16 final Gale beat Alex Foix 6-0, 6-0 to become a deserving winner of the under-16s’ silver plate. The day was rounded off by the showpiece under-18 final, which saw Gale take on defending champion Baudouin Huynh-Lenhardt, 17. In a pulsating match, played in front of a packed gallery of club members and tourists, Gale took victory once again with a final score of 6-2, 6-4 – making him the first British player to win the under-18 category since the competition’s inauguration.
Gale will carry on playing at the Hyde Real Tennis Club in Walditch under the guidance of head professional Ben Ronaldson, in preparation for very stiff competition at the British Under-18 Open tournament at the Queen’s Club in London next August.
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