Published: March 1, 2009
Young Burnham-On-Sea tennis player serves up an ace performance

Young Burnham-On-Sea tennis player Tom Colls reached the semi-finals of an Under Tens county tennis tournament in Bristol last week.

The players were split into three groups at the David Lloyd Tennis Centre and Tom, 9, won his group by winning two out of his three matches.

But because the winners of the two other groups also won two out of three games, Tom had to play each of them to claim a place in the semi-finals.

He went on to win all three games and was thrilled to be in his first semi-final, where he faced the number one seed, Louis Shaw, a talented player from Bristol.

Although Tom lost to Louis after a hard battle, he can be very proud of his performance, playing seven short set matches in one day.

Tom was only nine in December, making him one of the youngest players in his age group. Tom's mum was with him on Friday and was even more nervous than him, watching from a distance and living every point with him!

Tom became a member of Burnham's Nathan Edwards Tennis Academy last March following the selection process and is one of the strongest players at present.

"Tom was already a member of Burnham's Avenue Tennis Club and had been playing the game since age five but the Academy's training programme, combined with the excellent coaching of Jamie Allen and Greg Kyd, have elevated his tennis to a new level. The academy hopes this is just the beginning of Tom's success," the Academy's Sally Edwards told

"The commitment of his mum Nikki and dad Dave has also been essential in his development, and they have expressed their appreciation and support of the academy."

Tom's event was part of a Grade 3 Tournament which attracted an entry of 250 players in all age groups, including an open event for over 18's which was won by Dan Sidaway from Cardiff, who was Nathan Edwards' doubles partner. Dan also won the mens singles at the Grade 3 David Lloyd Christmas Tournament, receiving The Edwards Family Shield.

There are still a few places available in the Academy and anyone who believes their child has enough talent to join, should contact Sally on 01278 784080.

Children need to be under 10 and the game requires atheticism, great footwork, excellent hand eye co-ordination, a competative spirit and strong mental attitude.

The Academy continues to need financial support and welcomes donations or sponsorship to enable them to continue developing future talent.

The photos show (from top) Tom Colls in action in Bristol last week; Dan Sidaway receiving The Edwards Family Shield from Sally Edwards; and Alex Allen getting the Nathan Edwards Memorial Trophy


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