Young Tennis Talent, Liam Channon, is National Champion

One of our talented junior members, Liam Channon, has had an incredible summer of competing both nationally and internationally.

Back in 2012, at the age of 4, Liam picked up a racket for the first time at a Teddy Tennis session run by our very own Jamie Sacchi, prior to Jamie working at STSC. Liam showed good coordination and fell in love with the game. It wasn’t long before he grew tired of having to wait his turn in group sessions and started doing individual lessons! You could never have predicted at the time that this after-nursery activity would spiral into a full-time programme.

Progressing through the stages of junior tennis, Liam regularly competed in red ball, orange ball and green ball competitions with frequent success; often participating in the summer tournaments hosted at STSC. Setbacks and losses only made him more resolute to work harder and successes have kept him hungry for more.

2018 saw Liam called up to represent Great Britain in a friendly match with France. This was his first opportunity to measure himself against players outside the UK and was a fantastic experience overall.

Liam Channon Sutton Tennis

In early 2019, Liam joined Sutton Tennis and Squash Club as a member, and this became his main training base. Not long after, Liam was crowned 10U National Champion! A superb achievement and reward for all the hard work that had gone into his early development.

With his tennis game flying high and developing at a good pace, Liam applied for a place at Reed’s School to be part of their tennis academy. Past tennis scholars include Tim Henman and, more recently, Jack Draper. He had to sit the necessary entrance exams as well as make it through physical testing and 2 rounds of tennis selection. Ultimately Liam was offered a place as only 1 of 2 tennis scholars. This was a massive achievement as Reed’s have one of the best tennis academies in the country and the places are highly sought after. It meant that Liam could combine his school day with his training all onsite at school.

His ability did not escape the attention of STSC and Liam was soon playing men’s league tennis for the lower teams – a great way to develop his game further and something very different to playing junior tennis. Over the last few years Liam has consistently represented a number of the men’s teams and made his debut in the County National Premier League a few weeks ago.

The COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns couldn’t have come at a worse time. Liam was performing extremely well on the national tennis circuit and had just made his first steps to playing on the European junior circuit when life came to a halt.

Struggling through 2020, Liam trained and competed as much as possible. In 2021, as things started to open up a bit more, he recommenced his European tennis journey. In April, 2022, Liam won his first European title at the Tennis Europe Ljubicic Open in Croatia.

Building on this success, Liam won the LTA Grass Court National Championships in June this year. The reward for winning this event was a place in the first ever 14U Invitational event at Wimbledon during the second week of the Championships. This was an incredible experience for Liam to compete against 15 of the top boys from across the world and to have a taste of life on the professional tour at one of the world’s most prestigious events. Playing on the famous court s of Wimbledon in front of crowds was an experience not to be forgotten.

Liam Channon

This summer also saw Liam selected to represent Great Britain in the Summer Cup and European Championships.

Liam finished off the summer in style winning the LTA 14U National Championships. After coming through some tough group matches, Liam cruised through to the final. Losing a tight first set in a tie breaker did not deter Liam; he found his stride and went on to win the match 6-7 6-1 6-2. Seen as the pinnacle of junior British tennis it was a fantastic way to round off what has been an incredible summer being crowned National Champion!

We should also recognise the support Liam receives from his parents, Sean and Sandra. It is with their own dedication and commitment of time, that enables Liam to pursue this opportunity to the maximum.