12-YEAR-OLD tennis ace from Cardiff, Niall Pickerd-Barua, took home the boys under-14 cup at the Lexus Junior National Championships last week (16 August).
The win marks a second year of victory for Niall, following the under-12 Championship title he earned at last year’s tournament — demonstrating his potential as a future star of British tennis.
The 2023 Championships, delivered by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), saw 32 players take part in the boy’s under-14’s tournament, with Niall facing five matches to win his first GB title against Eric Lorimer from Devon in the final.
Having played tennis since age three Niall has continuously showcased his talent on the court, becoming one of Wales’ most promising young players.
From attending local training at Cardiff Castle Lawn Tennis club, Swansea Tennis Centre (Regional Player Development Centre) and Cardiff Met University to training at Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France, his recent achievements have put him on the map for the sport in Wales — and beyond.
Following in the footsteps of previous National Championship winners including Welsh junior no.1 Mimi Xu, Niall commented on his success: I have trained hard this year and it’s great to see my efforts pay off. I am proud to have retained my “British Champion” title from last year, especially since it’s my first year playing in the under 14s.
“Thank you to my coaches, my family and everyone who has supported me through this summer season. I am looking forward to my next competition”.
Niall’s win capped a successful summer for the ace as he also captured the U14 Singles, and U14 doubles (with Partner Evan Lendrum) at the 2023 Scottish Junior Open.
Chris Lewis, Head of Performance at Tennis Wales said: “Niall’s successes this summer will give him a lot of confidence for the rest of the year and will strengthen his belief that he can produce his best tennis when it matters most on the match court.
“Welsh tennis talent has had a truly great summer season, from seeing Mimi Xu at Junior Wimbledon to the fierce competition at play across our very own Cymru National Tennis and Padel Championships — it’s been fantastic to see over 776,00 adults and 154,000 children across Wales pick up a racket over the last year.”