Shropshire tennis ace Hugh Jaques insists being selected to represent Great Britain in a prestigious international tournament next month is a huge honour.
Having recently helped Shropshire’s men’s team gain promotion in the LTA’s annual over-35s County Cup at Eastbourne, Hugh is now looking forward to flying to the USA.
He’s one of four players chosen to represent Great Britain’s over-40s team in the International Tennis Federation’s Young Seniors World Championships in Miami.
Hugh said: “It’s a real honour to be selected to represent GB and also a real motivation to stay fit, injury free and make sure I can play to the absolute best of my ability.
“There are four of us in the team, selected on the basis of our performance on the seniors’ circuit over the last 12 months.
“I know all the other guys pretty well. Tom Wride, our captain, and I used to play together in the regional squad when we were 14, so we have a good laugh about how it’s 25 years on and we’re still hitting tennis balls together.
“The event is held in Miami on American clay courts, so we’ll be making sure that as a team we get plenty of practice beforehand on the same surface.
“Clay court play is very different to other surfaces. You have to be more patient and work the point using pace and spin to maximum effect.
“The event includes other age groups as well – men’s and women’s 35s, 40s and 45s, so there will be some great team spirit and camaraderie.
“You want to do your best as an individual, but the most important thing is the team result, so we’ll all be rooting for each other across all the GB teams, and I’m also really proud to be flying the flag for Shropshire.”
Shrewsbury-born Hugh first picked up a racket at Baschurch Tennis Club, his local club, aged eight – and he’s since enjoyed plenty of success.
He played regularly at Shrewsbury Lawn Tennis Club and was men’s singles champion for three successive years before studying at Nottingham University.
Having represented Shropshire from the age of 12, Hugh won a combined total of 16 Shropshire County Closed titles in singles and doubles at junior and senior level.
More success came his way when he helped Nottingham University win the British Universities team title in 1996.
Hugh has been playing men’s senior tennis since 2013, winning the British indoor and clay court doubles title in 2017, while he was runner-up in the grass court and clay court singles competitions a year earlier.
He has a senior world ranking high of 3 in over-35s doubles and 82 in over-35s singles.
Hugh was elected to the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain in 2017, following his bronze medal success at the European Seniors Club Championships
Married with three children, Hugh, who has a global role with Mars Incorporated, now lives with his family in South Warwickshire and plays tennis regularly at Warwick Boat Club.
But he remains proud to represent Shropshire and was delighted to team up with Adam Baldwin, Ian Gillespie and James Knight, friends from junior days, to help Shropshire’s over-35s secure County Cup promotion last month.
The ITF Young Seniors World Championships take place in Miami between October 20-25.