Ace Anthony learns from the best - The Rugby Observer
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13th Aug, 2022

Ace Anthony learns from the best

Rugby Editorial 17th Jun, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

CAWSTON tennis ace Anthony Agranovs saw off competition from more than 900 children from across the UK to reach the finals of Virgin Active’s inaugural ‘Search for a Tennis Ace’ – a nationwide hunt for Britain’s top young tennis talent.

The final, attended by 40 children aged between five and eight, took place at Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside on Saturday, June 7 and was judged by British tennis player Laura Robson, the Lawn Tennis Association’s Head of Performance Tennis Simon Jones and Virgin Active’s National Racquets Programme Co-ordinator Simon Pearson.

Seven-year-old Anthony was put through his paces by the judging panel in a series of exercises that tested agility, hand eye co-ordination, rallying and racket skills and all-round athleticism.

The ultimate winners were Abby Kelliher from Tyneside and Brighton’s Jacob Kelly, who both won a three-year membership to Virgin Active for themselves and their families, three years of top level coaching at Virgin Active, a kit and racket deal with Wilson and a chance to get top tips from Robson.

Robson, Virgin Active’s Active Aces ambassador and ‘Search for a Tennis Ace’ judge, commented: “I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of this process to find the next tennis ace of the future and would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Anthony for getting to the finals.

“He did incredibly well to get this far, the competition on the day was incredibly tough and Anthony showed great potential. I wish him luck for the future.”

Jones, Head of Performance Tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association, commented: “Anthony demonstrated a really high skill level and excellent sportsmanship which was great to see. It was really inspiring to see so much talent in the room and I hope that the experience has inspired all the competitors to continue working hard on their tennis.”

Matt Merrick, Managing Director of Virgin Active, said: “On behalf of Virgin Active I would like to congratulate Anthony on reaching the ‘Search for a Tennis Ace’ finals. He showed great talent and potential in the heats and on the day.

“It was fantastic to see so many energetic and passionate youngsters on court. The Active Aces tennis programme is about having fun whilst engaging with the sport and all our competitors embodied that fully.

“Our mission is to attract children into the sport earlier and give them a skill for life and we think that Anthony will be a great example of this.”

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