Ben and Sam fly flag for Chichester in Sussex tennis finals

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Sam Kilhams has won the boys’ 18-and-under title at the Sussex open championships as his successful season continues.

It comes after he retained his Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club’s closed championship senior title this summer and moved on to the open event at the West Worthing club.

The only threat posed by the early rounds was the inclement weather. Matches were constantly moved from grass to hard court or delayed.

Kilhams, seeded No6, worked his way through the draw to reach the quarter-finals, where he had a competitive match on grass against Neil Cordon (Middlesex), a higher-ranked opponent and No2 seed, which he came through 6-3, 7-6.

Kilhams was dominant in the semi-final against No5 seed James Gammel, also on the grass courts. Kilhams served well and made the best use of his forehand to win 6-1, 6-2.

On finals day the heavens opened and early matches were played indoors. This suited Kilhams’ game and despite playing against the No1 seed Matthew Hingley (Staffordshire), who is in the top 50 in the UK, Kilhams dominated the first set and completed a 6-3, 6-4 victory, dropping only one service game.

At the same championships, Ben Horton won the boys’ 14-and-under singles title. 

The No2-seeded member of Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club, in a draw of 64 players, was given a bye into the second round where he defeated William Timbrell 6-1, 6-1. 

In the next round he beat Ethan Parker 6-0, 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals. He continued to work his way towards the final and beat Solomon Knipe 6-1, 6-0.

In the semi-finals Horton was expecting a tougher match against Robert White, a strong player from Preston seeded No3. Horton’s serve, however, was excellent and he outplayed White to walk away with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.

In the final he played Ryan Green, yet another strong player from Preston. Horton’s good form continued and he proved too strong for Green as he claimed the title with a 6-1, 6-3 win.