Esah victorious

Esah Hayat playing tennis

Deaf tennis golden boy Esah Hayat won his first senior singles title as part of a hat-trick of wins at the recent National Championships. BDN reports on the highlights of an exciting weekend.

Esah Hayat claimed his first National Deaf Tennis senior singles title as part of a hat-trick of victories at the 2016 Championships at the Dan Maskell Tennis Centre, Loughborough University recently.

Esah adds the National senior title to his boys’ junior deaf tennis world title won in Nottingham last year.

Phoebe Suthers also ended the tournament with two event wins, beating Valerie Copenhagen in the women’s singles decider and partnering Hayat to victory in the mixed doubles.

With Suthers and Copenhagen challenging the male players in one main draw singles event this year, Suthers joined Hayat in advancing to the semi-finals after 6-0, 6-0 first round wins for both. Bradley Wilson also beat Copenhagen 6-4, 6-0 to set up a last four meeting against top seed and 13-time men’s singles National champion Peter Willcox.

Thereafter, second seed Hayat dropped his first two games to Suthers before progressing to the final 6-0, 6-2. Meanwhile Willcox sealed a 6-0, 6-0 semi-final win over Wilson. The final proved to be a much closer affair as 14-year-old Hayat snatched a first set tie-break and he went on to take the title 7-6(2), 6-2.

Hayat and Willcox duly paired up to justify their top billing in the men’s doubles, defeating Toby Clifton and Wilson 6-0, 6-0. In the mixed doubles, Hayat and Suthers followed up their European Championships junior mixed doubles title earlier this year by winning their first senior title together after beating Willcox and Copenhagen 6-2, 6-0.

The women’s singles play-off between Suthers and Copenhagen ended in Suthers gaining a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

The junior singles produced a dominant performance from Wilf Jenkins, who won two of his four round-robin matches 4-0, 4-0 and dropped just two games in each of his other two matches. Jenkins beat George Kilcullen 4-2 4-0 and Maisie O’Shea, 4-0, 4-2, but the contest for runners-up honours produced a thrilling deciding match tie-break as O’Shea edged out Kilcullen 3-5, 5-4(5), (13-11).

The National Championships followed the European Deaf Tennis Championships in Slovenia in the summer when the GB team came home with six medals in total.

The Tennis Foundation runs an array of deaf tournaments for players of all abilities, junior and senior.  The Deaf Tennis Regional Tournaments are hosted across the UK culminating in the National Deaf Tennis Champion-ships held in October.

Fact Box:


Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 October 2016, Loughborough University, Dan Maskell Tennis Centre

Surface: Indoor Acrylic

Total Prize Money: £1500.00

Tournament Director: Liz Terry

Tournament Referee: Edward Bradford