A 14-year-old boy from Solihull has made his international tennis debut at the ITF Nairobi International Junior Championships.
Charley Gregory, a pupil at Solihull School who lives in Balsall Common, attended the Kenyan tournament where he was placed in the top 32 following a three-set match win against Lee Sadler of Canada.
Competing against youngsters up to three years older than himself, the 10U and 12U national champion was eventually beaten by No 3 seed Antoine Gbadoe of Togo.
Playing a total of six matches over the course of the two week tournament, Charley won three matches and competed within the main draw – an accomplishment within itself for his first ITF event.
Charley said: “Playing tennis as a junior is all about gaining experience. I never expected to win every match but competing in Kenya has made me even more determined. I know what I need to do in order to improve and become a better player.
“The tournament has also given me the opportunity to visit another part of the world, and experience the differences that brings. I had to adapt to the climate and conditions playing at high altitude. Prior to the trip I was vaccinated for yellow fever and slept under a mosquito net every evening.
“I want to become the best I can be and I am very grateful to my family, coach and school for their continued support.”
Solihull headmaster, David Lloyd, said: “Charley has the backing of everyone at Solihull School and we are all pleased to hear that he accomplished so much at his first full international competition. He is an extremely talented individual and we are all sure he will go on to achieve great success.”
Charley trains at Virgin Active in Coventry under the guidance of performance coach John Black. He is sponsored by sporting equipment and clothing company HEAD, an arrangement which has now been renewed for the next two years.