Happy Horton rises up British tennis rankings

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Chichester’s Ben Horton has shot up the British rankings this season.

His tournament performances since Easter mean the Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club member’s national position in the LTA seasonal rankings among under-15 boys is No2. In the under-16 age group he is now at eight.

He finished the winter season at number 31 nationally in the under-15s and at 52 in the under-16s - and Horton is really pleased with his improved position.

His rating has increased mid-season to a 5.1 and he has already banked enough wins against other 5.1 players or higher to move up to a 4.2 by the end of the summer, which should help his entry and draw position for tournaments in the winter. At the start of this season Horton won the under-16 event at the Tunbridge Wells Easter junior tournament.

Seeded No3, Horton beat Brighton’s Peter Molloy, rated 4.2 and No1 seed, in the final 6-1, 6-2.

At the Winchester spring open another final beckoned. In the under-16 semi-final Horton, seeded four, fought a close match against top seed Piers Farhang from Dorset, winning 6-4, 7-5.

In the final he played Alex Roszkowski, the No3 seed from Surrey. Horton lost the first set 6-2 but pulled back in the second set to win 6-4. Unfortunately in the championship tie-break Ben narrowly lost the match 11-9.

In the under-16 final of the Darren Toop Open in Bournemouth, Horton was to challenge Piers Farhang again.

Farhang, seeded three and on great form, had knocked out No1 seed Alistair Hobson from Surrey in the semis to meet second seed Horton in the final.

Strong winds didn’t faze Horton and he claimed the title 6-0, 6-1.

When asked about the remainder of the season, Horton said: “I’m really looking forward to the national tournaments throughout the summer - it would be great if I could maintain a good ranking. I’m also hoping to play well for the Chichester men’s first team for the rest of this season.”