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ELITE LEVEL: Berkhamsted tennis team prepares to compete in nation’s top league

 Published on: 4th May 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Berkhamsted’s ace tennis team is calling on the community to offer their support as they prepare to take on the country’s elite players.

Last season, Berkhamsted were promoted into the top division of the National League, the elite level of club tennis.

Reigning champions and financial juggernauts Roehampton, a multi-million pound institution which features two teams out of the eight in the league, come to Berkhamsted courts on May 14.

Registered as part of Roehampton’s first team is Joe Salisbury, former world number one doubles player and five-time grand slam winner. Elsewhere in the league are ATP Tour professionals such as Liam Brody and 21-year-old Jack Draper, who breached the world’s top 50 earlier this year.

Josh Sapwell, coach at Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis & Squash Rackets Club and vice-captain of the men’s first team, said: “We’re really excited about the challenge. We just can’t wait to play at home, we can’t wait to see what the atmosphere will be like. It’s also an open day when we play Roehampton so we’re expecting a really big turnout for that one.

“This is the elite. This is not semi-pro; this is professional tennis. It consists of ex-tour players, current players, and aspiring pros.”

Josh himself was ranked number one in the world at Under 14 level in 2010, and recalls defeating pros such as Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, who are now almost permanent fixtures in the globe’s top 10.

Josh said: “We’ve got a really strong team. The first thing is to not get relegated, but we’re really targeting making the playoffs.”

If Berkhamsted can make it to the playoffs and beyond, the regional league winners will compete in a final tournament in Bournemouth in September.

To compete on the level of some of the powerhouses in the league, the club is on the lookout for financial backing and support. Any organisations or individuals interested in contributing should contact josh@berkhamstedtennisfit.com

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