International titles for Grimley and Stalker

Christopher Grimley’s impressive year on court shows no sign of slowing down after adding the Hellas Junior International title to his ever-growing collection.

The Scottish youngster had felt in good touch all week in Greece and so it proved heading into the final, overcoming top-seeded Englishman Zach Russ.

Indeed, it ensured that Grimley did not drop a game the entire week, prevailing 23-21 22-20 in a tense finale to deservedly take his place atop the podium.

Six victories out of six was the eventual record for the second seed and he’s already looking forward at what is to come in the next few weeks.

“It’s really good to get that win in the final against the English top seed in a close game,” said the double Swedish Junior champion.

“I’m happy with how I played and hopefully can keep up the performance at the Cyprus Junior in two weeks’ time.”

Alongside his brother, Matthew, the Hungarian Junior International men’s doubles title has also come Christopher’s way in 2018, with the teenager hopeful of more in the coming months.

But he wasn’t the only Scottish talent in action over the weekend as the Victor Junior Olve Jot competitions continued in Belgium.

And with it came a title for youngster Brooke Stalker, battling to the girls singles U13 crown after a superb few days of competition.

In all, six victories came her way with just one game dropped to the 12 she won, the triumphant and deserved winner of a competition she dominated.

She was forced to work hard in the final however, backing up her straight games semi-final success with a repeat performance – a tense 21-18 21-19 scoreline her prize against Sabrina Sophita Wedler.

That wasn’t the only medal she walked away with however, joining up with Zyver De Leon as the Scottish-Italian duo reached the semi-finals before going down to Remy Taing and Elena Phan of France 21-10 21-19.

A string of strong performances came the way of the Scottish team, with Mary Kong and Keryn Swan reaching the girls doubles U15 quarter-finals.

Katrina Chan and Stalker were also quarter-finalists, in the girls doubles U13.

With nearly 40 games played by Scots across the U13 and U15 age-groups, plenty of experience of competition in Europe has already been gained by the impressive youngsters in Belgium.

In the U17 men’s singles, there was a solid showing from Callum Smith after reaching the semi-finals before losing out to eventual champion Sacha Leveque.

A 21-13 21-18 defeat came his way but not before showing his potential with four singles victories, including coming from behind to beat Spain’s Alejandro De Pablo 24-22 in the deciding game of the second round.

Meanwhile, Alice Campbell and Erin Waddell reached the quarter-finals before missing out to Mariia Golubeva and Vasilisa Kuznetcova 21-13 21-14, the fourth seeds later going on to be crowned women’s doubles champions.

Scotland were also represented in the men’s doubles quarter-finals, this time by two pairs as Smith and Calum Flockhart pushed De Pablo and Gabriel Fernandez close before ultimately going down in a three-game thriller.

And seventh seeds Kenneth Cheung and Michael McGuire were also in the last eight, fighting hard before falling 21-14 21-18 to the top seeds, Gustav Andree and Tobias Rudolf, as the U17 competition came to a close.