HAVERFORDWEST tennis star Jeremy Cross will get a shot at competing on the world stage next month.
He has been called up to represent Great Britain in the men’s over 45s squad at the ITF World Tennis Master Tour Team Championships in Turkey.
Sixteen teams from across the globe will go head to head in the prestigious competition which runs from 19-24 March on the clay courts of Manavgat, Antalya.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be selected,” said Cross, “it has been a goal of mine for at least 10 years to make the team.
“It’s not just any team event, it’s the world championships and I’m representing Great Britain so this ramps up both the pride but also the pressure.”
Cross will compete in the team event in the first week and stay on for the individual singles in the second week.
“I have no idea of the level as this is my first time there so I have no expectations in terms of placings,” he said.
“My personal ambition will be to perform to my potential. It’s on red clay so I’m hoping to make my fitness count.”
Cross, originally from Jersey, has enjoyed an illustrious career, with the men’s over 45s singles title at the ITF Senior tournament one of the most recent additions to an already jam-packed trophy cabinet.
But he will have to make room as hot on his heels is his 10-year-old son William, who won his age category in the South Wales County Championships last summer.
Cross heads to Turkey having enjoyed an unbeaten run in the South Wales Winger League, with Haverfordwest set for the title and promotion to division two.
He will compete at the British Indoor Tennis Championships at Wrexham next week as part of his preparations for the Masters.
And at 46, Cross’ love of the sport shows no signs of letting up.
“I just love playing tennis, both in practice and competitively,” he said.
“It keeps me healthy and I get to meet new people and visit new places.
“I especially love being part of a team which combines the challenges of an individual sport with camaraderie.
“All my best experiences of tennis have been travelling to new countries representing a team so I will keep playing as long as I can do this.
“The current oldest veteran category is over 90s so this could be for some time!”