University tennis talent impressed at the AEGON British Tour Stirling hosted at the Scottish National Tennis Centre on campus last week.
Stirling tennis scholarship student Joe Gill, (pictured second from the right) from Dronfield Woodhouse in Derbyshire, won the men’s singles, defeating promising junior Jonathon O’Mara, from Dundee, 6-4 6-1 in the final.
Gill was one of eight students from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence competing in the British Tour event, the second in a circuit of 36 events throughout 2012, with the top players on the leaderboard invited to the end of year Masters in Nottingham.
The 24-year-old MSc Sports Management student, whose only previous AEGON British Tour event win also came on home soil in 2010, defeated three University team-mates en route to the final.
Gill has been in excellent form since returning from a broken bone in his wrist and is part of the University’s men’s team sitting atop the British Universities Premier League North.
He said: “It was not easy playing against guys who I train with every day and am normally on the same team as, but that’s just how the draw went. At the end of the day, tennis is an individual sport and I am delighted to win what has become something of a lucky tournament for me. Hopefully I can use this as the springboard to win a couple more Tour events and qualify for the Masters.
“After the injury I had a period of reflection and had to decide if I wanted to keep playing tennis at this level. I’m glad I did get back into it as I’m really enjoying it and have a good balance between training, competing and completing my studies. The University has always been an excellent training environment and our coach Euan McGinn deserves great credit.”
Other Stirling International Sports Scholarship Programme students competing in the tournament were: Rihards Emulins (Riga, Latvia), Cameron Malik (Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon), Nick Hatchett (London), Jordan McCulloch (Chester, Cheshire), Jack Paterson (Stirling) and Hannah Pickford (Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire).
Elsewhere, Stirling graduate Colin Fleming and doubles partner Ross Hutchins reached the semi-finals of the Apia International in Sydney, excellent preparation for the Australian Open, which started today (Monday).
The opening image shows (l-r): James Ireland, Jonathon O’Mara, Joe Gill and Nick Hatchett.
Tennis is one of five sports which is part of the University of Stirling’s International Sports Scholarship Programme. For more information and to view individual player profiles, visit: https://www.stir.ac.uk/sport/scholarships/
Joe Gill and Jordan McCulloch are also supported by The Taylor Family Foundation.