Ramsgate teenager Jack Pegden has scooped the Men’s Open Singles title at the Kent County Championships 2023.
The 17-year-old apprentice tennis coach with Infinity Coaching (across east Kent) also came away with the Under 18’s Boys Doubles title, alongside playing partner Ewan Grieve, last Sunday after a week-long tournament in Bromley.
The former Chatham House student has been playing tennis since he was five years old and head coach Gavid Vickers says even from that moment he knew he was going to be exceptional.
Gavid said: “The first time I saw Jack swing a racket was back in 2011 at Hartsdown Leisure Centre. At just 5 years old, he came in with his mum, and something immediately caught my eye.
“During our usual warm-up routines, we often play wall ball, a self-rallying exercise. On a good day, players typically manage to keep 2 to 4 self-rallies going. But there was Jack, a small figure in the corner, effortlessly rallying 10-20 shots on his own.
“I recall telling my tennis leader, ‘This kid is going to be exceptional.’
“Flash forward 12 years, and that young prodigy has triumphed, seizing both the Men’s Open Singles and the Under 18’s Boy’s Doubles titles at the Kent County Championships 2023. What a monumental achievement!”
Gavid says Jack’s commitment to tennis “is unparalleled.”
He added: “Last week, Jack participated in his final Kent County Championship as a Junior, contesting in four events. Battling against rain delays and intense competitions, Jack showcased resilience and strategic brilliance.
“Notably, he rebounded from a defeat (Under 18’s singles) against a tough opponent, Timothy, only to trounce him the following day in the Men’s Open final.
“Being crowned the Men’s Open Champion 2023 and securing the Boys Doubles title are testament to his prowess. I’m immensely proud and humbled to have coached a National Champion (County Cup) and Kent Men’s Champion.”
Gavid said off court Jack is an “incredible character,” with humility, kindness, and grace.
Jack now begins his second year of his tennis apprenticeship with Infinity Tennis.
To find out more about Infinity Tennis visit https://www.infinity-tennis.co.uk