Tennis: Euan McIntosh knocking on UK No. 1 door

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Blackhall tennis prospect Euan McIntosh is looking forward to challenging for the UK No. 1 slot at under-18s – perhaps in Edinburgh this summer – after a stunning run of success.

Euan won a Winter National tournament in Bolton while unseeded and has spent the past fortnight back in England competing. Firstly, he reached the final of the Nottingham junior Open then later progressed to the quarter-finals of an International Tennis Federation event, losing to the eventual winner.

Those results have contributed to Euan, who also won four out of six matches representing East in a junior county cup recently, reaching No. 2 in the rankings and already this year he has a three-set win over the current No. 1, Adam Glynn of Dorset. Both boys could meet up in the Capital in June when 
Craiglockhart hosts a Scottish Junior Open which is part of the ITF circuit.

Looking further afield Euan , 17, has secured a tennis scholarship to Drake University, Iowa, starting this Autumn.

“I’d certainly like to make a career out of tennis if not in singles then in doubles or 
as a coach,” said Euan, who 
began playing aged six at the Next Generation Club, 
Newhaven.

“Drake are known as one of the top tennis universities and before committing I spoke with James McKie (an East men’s county team-mate also from Edinburgh) to find out what I could expect since he has been there for a while.”

Euan added: “I train at the Next Generation club around three times a week but I also enjoy turning out in matches for Blackhall at club level.

“With three highers to be sat at Royal High School in the next month, though, I’ll have to get my head down to add to the couple of highers I gained last year. But there will also be plenty of tennis on the schedule not least because Royal High have won the Scottish Schools Cup, both boys’ and girls’ competitions, for the past two years and it would be good to bow out with hat-tricks.”

In addition to his successes down south and in tournaments as far afield as Maderia, Germany and France, Euan has taken Scottish national titles at every age group from under-12 upwards as well as collecting the prestigious Raymond Miquel Award as one to watch back in 2008.

“All the Scottish trophies I have won contain the names of Andy and Jamie Murray.

“It is really encouraging to know that where I am at the moment in tennis both Andy and Jamie have been. When I was younger and Andy and Jamie’s mum, Judy, was taking coaching classes they were always around. That meant opportunities to hit with them both,” said Euan.

In the case of Jamie Murray in particular it is possible paths could cross at the annual British Inter-County Championships this summer.

“For the past three years I have enjoyed being part of the East senior men’s squad and for the first time ourselves, West of Scotland and North of Scotland will be in the same group – Division Three at Hunstanton.

“Not so long ago Jamie turned out for the North team at county week so maybe he will be on the opposite side of the net this time, too.”

Other coaches to have assisted Euan are Edinburgh’s Alan MacDonald and, much earlier, Leon Smith. Smith is the Scot who has captained Great Britain men to the play-offs for the Davis Cup world group.

“Leon coached me aged 10-12 and was very motivational and helped push me on to the national scene. Alan works closer to home and has always been there to assist me. Mind you, he plays for Thistle who won last year’s East League when I was part of the Blackhall team that finished runners-up.

“I’m keen to turn out for the club whenever I can (he was due in action last night at home to David Lloyd SC at the start of another campaign) and it would be good to try to knock Alan’s team off top spot this season!”