McHugh and Lumsden among Tennis Scotland award nominations

Aidan McHugh in action at the ITF Futures event at Scotstoun Leisure Centre (pic by Tennis Scotland)_
Aidan McHugh in action at the ITF Futures event at Scotstoun Leisure Centre (pic by Tennis Scotland)_

Bearsden tennis duo Aidan McHugh and Maia Lumsden have both been shortlisted for this year’s Tennis Scotland awards.

McHugh is in line to win the Junior Player of the Year accolade for the second year running.

Maia Lumsden is among the International Player of the Year contenders (pic by Rob Eyton-Jones)

Maia Lumsden is among the International Player of the Year contenders (pic by Rob Eyton-Jones)

And Lumsden is one of four contenders for the International Player of the Year award which will be handed out at a special presentation lunch in Glasgow in May.

Also among the nominees is the Kirkintilloch-based Tennis Aces project which also has links with Milngavie Tennis Club and has also been nominated in the Disability Programme Award category, which it also won last year.

McHugh’s reputation, and his ranking, has risen impressively in the last 12 months.

Last year he was a regular in the later stages of ITF junior tournaments, winning the CLTK Cup in Prague and reaching the last four of tournaments in Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico.

He also reached the last 16 at Junior Wimbledon and has already started this year with a bang.

After reaching the final of the warm-up tournament for the Australian Open, McHugh enjoyed a glorious run to the semi-finals in Melbourne.

He is now concentrating on senior events, other than the Grand Slams for which he is still eligible for the juniors, and this week reached the third qualifying round of the Egypt F8 Futures tournament in Sharm El Sheikh, defeating Yohei Otsuka (Japan) and Mirko Martinez (Switzerland) before going out to Egypt’s Issam Taweel.

Also nominated for top junior are Scottish under-12 champion and under-14 finalist Ben Hudson, from Dundee, and up-and-coming Renfrewshire star Connor Thomson (17).

Lumsden (20) has been joined on the International Player shortlist by British Davis Cup hero Cameron Norrie, Arbroath’s Jonny O’Mara and Edinburgh’s Scott Duncan.

Last year Maia won two five ITF tournament titles, two in singles and three in doubles.

She won both singles and doubles championships at $15,000 tournaments at Wirral and Sunderland and was also a doubles winner at Hammamet in Tunisia.

She also performed superbly in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament, only just losing out to the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova who was ranked over 500 places above her in the rankings and finished the year just outside the top 100.

Lumsden, who has now broken into the world’s top 500 herself, also started this year on a high note by reaching the final of the $25,000 GB Pro Series event in Glasgow.

The Tennis Aces, based at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre and run by local coach Allwyn Crawford (pictured left), was set up in 2015.

It provides training and playing opportunities for adults and young people with learning difficulties.

From a small pool of seven players, there are now almost 60 players within the project.

Coaching takes place at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre, which has two outside all weather courts, and the project has also set up a link with Milngavie Tennis Club to use five of their courts for their club championships.

For 2018 the group will be working towards charitable status to open up more funding opportunities and grant applications.