RISING teenage tennis star Joshua Taylor has stormed to a national title.

The 17-year-old from Ainsworth fought off fierce competition before claiming the title with a resounding 6-0, 6-3 win in the final of the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Under 18 National Winter Tour Tennis Final.

In a physically demanding tournament he won five matches over three days.

He said: “I felt elated and immensely proud of the achievement, considering the minimal hours of training I do in comparison to some of the other competitors.

“Winning five matches at a national level over a three-day period is gruelling on the body, and I’m extremely happy I’ve come out on top.”

Taylor began playing tennis at Holcombe Brook when he was six years old.

He has been coached by Andrew Davies of the David Lloyd Club since he was 10 and trains three times a week, supplemented by other sports and gym sessions.

He has competed in national tournaments for the last seven years and reached the semi-finals in eight of them.

He was one of 24 players automatically entered into the winter tennis final, which took place in Sunderland at the end of last month, based on their national ranking.

Seeded sixth he beat Joshua Lazenby in the final.

Mum Jane said: “I am exceptionally proud of all that Joshua has achieved but winning the nationals was an incredible achievement.

“As a mother the journey is relentless. It is a tough sport and you know anything can happen in a match.

“The psychological aspect is crucial as Joshua does not train as much as others, but in Sunderland he was confident and his game reflected this.

“This is an enormous achievement for Joshua and we are all immensely proud of his achievements.”

His next challenge is the winter National Tour Finals, where 16 players compete for the end-of-season national title in Roehampton, London.

Bury Grammar School headmaster Devin Cassidy said: “This is a tremendous achievement and we are immensely proud of Josh.”

Taylor hopes to go to university in America before pursuing his dream of a career in tennis.