Merchiston’s unseeded U13 team managed to fend off top seed Reed’s School, Surrey, and second seed Bournemouth Collegiate School at the Aegon National Schools Finals in Bolton last weekend. The team claimed its victory after winning all its matches in a high quality and competitive event. Merchiston started with a convincing doubles win against Reed’s School. In the final the boys faced Trent College from Nottinghamshire; it was left to Jamie Dobie to win his singles match to secure the title. Jamie said “It is really exciting to be the champions and to be top out of the 2,584 schools that competed in the competition.”
The U15 squad was placed runner-up behind Reed’s School. Merchiston made it to the final to defend its title and made a promising start, with a win at the number two doubles. However, Reed’s went on to claim number 1 doubles and all four singles rubbers to claim the title with a 10-2 win.
Head coach of Merchiston’s Tennis Academy, Marcel du Coudray, said: “There have been years of investment by the coaches and players to create a team capable of winning the U13 National title as well as U15 runner-up, following on from our win at U15 level last year. This is a great achievement by both teams.”
After the success of the weekend, the LTA National Team Tennis School Boys’ year end rankings put Merchiston in second place behind Reed’s School.
Merchiston established Scotland’s first Tennis Academy in 2007 with 13 boys and girls. Since then it has grown to around twice that size. These players attend Merchiston and St George’s in Edinburgh (some boarding, some as day pupils) where they pursue both a bespoke academic timetable and a world class tennis programme, led by Head Coach, Marcel du Coudray. The Tennis Academy provides player pathways from top county level players to junior grand slam level.