McHugh takes his place on world tennis stage with ranking victory

Aidan McHugh in action at the Aegon Pro-Series Scottish Championships (pic by Tennis Scotland)
Aidan McHugh in action at the Aegon Pro-Series Scottish Championships (pic by Tennis Scotland)

Bearsden tennis player Aidan McHugh has earned his first ATP world ranking point after victory in a Futures match in Glasgow last week.

The 16-year-old was handed a wildcard entry into the main singles draw for the Aegon Pro-Series Scottish Championships held at Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

And he justified that selection with a straight sets 7-5 6-3 win against the experienced Scott Clayton.

An early break down in the opening set, McHugh broke the more experienced Jersey player’s serve twice in succession to win 7-5.

One break of serve in the second set was all that was needed to secure his first main draw victory at this level.

That earned him that precious ranking point - leaving him a mere 11,539 behind world number one Andy Murray - and put him through to face Hugo Grenier in the second round, a tough challenge against the 20-year-old French sixth seed.

Grenier was in commanding form in the first set, which he won 6-2.

However the young Scot broke early in the second set and led 4-3 before Grenier won six points in a row to break back and take the set 6-4 and the match.

Grenier then beat two further British players - Scotland’s Jonny O’Mara and England’s Jay Clarke - to reach the final where he was beaten by Slovakia’s Filip Horansky.

Aidan fwas in action at another Futures tournament in Tipton this week and took a set off Marcus Willis - who reached the second round at Wimbledon last year before losing to Roger Federer - before going down 6-1 3-6 6-1.

McHugh had gone into the Scotstoun tournament on a high after victory in an international tournament in the Czech Republic - where he beat another local player, Hamish Stewart, in the final.

Aidan, top seeded for the tournament, took a tight first set against number two seed Hamish, from Strathblane, 7-5 and then edged the second 6-4 to take the title.

The two also reached the final in the doubles, losing out 10-8 in a deciding tiebreak after coming back from losing the first set 6-2 to take the second 6-3.

Hamish (17) also played at Scotstoun last week, teaming up with Connor Thomson from Renfrew, and the pair gave a good account of themselves in their first Pro doubles event together, losing two keenly contested sets to the experienced pair of Yannick Jankovits of France and Yannick Vandenbulcke from Belgium.

Ewen Lumsden (17), from Bearsden but now living in Lenzie, was also in action at Scotstoun and reached the second round, defeating Great Britain’s James Davis in three sets before losing out to Switzerland’s Mirko Martinez.

And Ewan’s big sister Maia, beaten women’s singles finalist in 2016, was yet another local player involved and defeated Croatian qualifier Iva Primorac 6-4 6-3 to advance to a second round encounter with Bibianne Schoofs, who had shocked fellow Dutch player and top seed Arantxa Rus in the opening round.

Schoofs won the first set 6-4 in just under an hour but the Scot fought back to level at one set all with some attacking play in front of a supportive crowd. Schoofs responded positively by breaking early in the deciding set and continued to dominate the rest of the match winning 6-4 3-6 6-0.

It was a similar story for Lumsden in the doubles as she and 16-year-old Ali Collins won through to the second round with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 [10-6] win against Mia Eklund of Finland and Ines Murta of Portugal.

However they then came up against top seeds Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith, who played in last month’s Australian Open, and were beaten 6-2 6-2.