IM this article to a friend!

July 9, 2004

Tennis: Sinclair day of glory at Wimbledon

From: Belfast Telegraph (subscription), UK - Jul 9, 2004

09 July 2004

ULSTER success is a rare thing at Wimbledon but this year Belfast's Anthony Sinclair broke the mould when he teamed up with England's Darren O'Donnell to win the all-British deaf tennis exhibition match which took place last Saturday.

Sinclair and O'Donnell were up against Daniel Tunstall and Lewis Fletcher in the first ever such match to be held at SW19 and they came from behind to claim a 1-6 6-2 6-1 victory.

Anthony then appeared on BBC's Match of the Day programme and was interviewed by Sue Barker shortly after his triumph.

All four players are involved with the Great Britain national deaf tennis squad with Tunstall, Fletcher and O'Donnell all members of the Great Britain men's team that were runners up to Germany in the 2003 Dresse Cup, the Davis Cup of deaf tennis.

Sinclair missed out last year due to injury but he will team up with Tunstall and O'Donnell in the European Deaf Championships which get underway on Sunday in France.

Anthony, who is ranked second in Great Britain, flew out yesterday to Pau were he will compete for a week.

He has been playing tennis since he was 10 and he has already achieved much in his short career.

Obviously playing at Wimbledon was a dream come true for the teenager but he has also played in Ireland up to U18 level.

He was always a consistent player and growing up was always ranked in the top four in Ireland making it to at least the semi-final stages of the Irish Junior Open at Fitzwilliam most years.

Sinclair recently played on the Ulster senior interprovincinal team and is currently in with a very good chance of making next years Deaf Olympics.

If selected it would be his second time playing at the Games, his first experience being in Rome in 2001.

This time the Deaf Olympics are taking place in Australia in January and being so highly ranked Sinclair is expected to be there.

Anthony is proof that a lot of skill exists in deaf tennis and not only is sport a hobby for him but he is hoping to base his career around it by going into sports management, which he will start studying at Sheffield Hallam University in September.

2004 Independent News and Media (NI) a division of Independent News & media (UK) Ltd