Bearsden tennis player Kyle is the Best in the West

Kyle McKay of Bearsden Tennis Club with his West of Scotland Junior league award.
Kyle McKay of Bearsden Tennis Club with his West of Scotland Junior league award.

A Bearsden youngster has beaten almost 1,000 other players to be named West of Scotland Junior Player of the Year.

11-year-old Kyle McKay, of Bearsden Tennis Club, won the award at Tennis West of Scotland’s recent presentation night.

Kyle plays for the club’s 12 and under team in the Aegon Team Tennis league - and last year he had the best overall scores of any junior player from any club in any team.

He won all of his singles matches against the likes of Newlands, Western, Strathgryffe, Giffnock and Uddingston and won the lot - without conceding a single set.

Although a member at Bearsden, Kyle also trains at the David Lloyd Club in Anniesland under the watchful gaze of coach Gary Smith, brother of Great Britain Davis Cup winning coach Leon.

Kyle’s father Derek is a long-time player and member at Bearsden and is justifiably proud of Kyle’s success.

He said: “It’s quite a prestigious thing because to win Junior Player of the Year you’ve got to have the best record of all the junior players who play in the West of Scotland and there’s about 950 of them.

“From a local perspective he was the only award winner from Bearsden Tennis Club.

“His record was he won all his matches and he won 20 sets out of 20 and he therefore won 120 games for 13 games against. It was a pretty unbelievable record.”

Kyle’s award, announced at an end-of-year ceremony at David Lloyds in Renfrew, rounded off a highly successful year for the Glasgow Academy pupil.

In addition to helping Bearsden gain promotion, he also won the 12 and under championship at the prestigious Drumchapel Inter Club Tournament.

And in the David Lloyd club championships he didn’t just win the 12 and under competition. For good measure he also took the 14 and under and 16 and under titles.

Kyle was also asked to play for Bearsden’s adult team last year, and in doing so set what’s thought to be a record for the biggest age gap between a doubles pairing when, at the age of 10, he partnered 76-year-old John Beeley.

Kyle is the latest in a conveyor belt of players from the Bearsden and Milngavie areas to make an impact in the sport.

Siblings Maia and Ewen Lumsden and Aidan McHugh (all coached by another Smith brother, Toby) and Hamish Stewart (also coached by Gary) have all enjoyed success at international level.

But for the moment Kyle is concentrating on developing his game and looking forward to playing for Bearsden in the first division of both the 12 and under and 14 and under Aegon Team Tennis leagues this year.

Derek said: “Kyle’s been playing since he was five. He’s strong, he’s got a big forehand, he’s a powerful player and what Gary’s working on just now is his technique and footwork.

“He’s got the power, he just need to hone it in.

“I think he’d just like to play at the best level he possibly can and focus on developing his game.”