Hayling champ is real deal

Bryn Sayers celebrates winning the Neptune British Open real tennis title
Bryn Sayers celebrates winning the Neptune British Open real tennis title

Bryn Sayers has announced himself as the new star of real tennis after winning the British Open.

The Hayling Island ace toppled all-time great Robert Fahey, from Australia, to deliver an emotional victory at the Queen’s Club in London.

Now the 27-year-old is eyeing world domination after a ground-breaking four-set success.

Sayers showed real guts to come out 2/6, 6/5, 6/2, 6/5 winner and turn the final on its head after Fahey’s flying start.

The title represents a breakthrough moment for the former Seacourt junior, with Fahey acknowledged as the greatest real tennis player of all time.

The 44-year-old has been world champion since 1994 and the winner of nine British Open titles in a row.

But now Sayers is planning for a changing of the guard at the sport’s top level.

He admitted he has still to come to terms with a victory which proved an adrenalin-filled affair.

Sayers said: ‘It’s pretty big and it hasn’t sunk in yet.

‘He’s the Roger Federer of real tennis, really, probably even more dominant than that.

‘So it’s a big deal for me because it’s been a lifetime of training and hard work to get there. It’s nice for it to pay off.

‘I’ve always watched Rob play his competitors in the British Open finals and wanted to get involved.

‘He’s held the World Championship since 1994 and still holds it, and has held pretty much every title and broken every record.

‘Hopefully things can change now. I came close to him last year and marginally missed out that time.

‘I don’t express my emotions much when I’m playing.

‘I’m normally quite cool in that way, so it was funny to see me go crazy at the end!

‘I threw down my racket and went a bit funny!

‘Having my parents there to see it was nice.

‘They’ve driven me around when I was growing up as a junior. It was pretty emotional. They’ve always been there for me.

‘It’s something I won’t forget.’

After becoming the first Brit to win the title since 1999, the aim for Sayers now is to break Fahey’s dominance on the world crown, a title he has won a record 11 times.

The chance will come to do that in 2014 and Sayers aims to grab the opportunity with both hands.

He said: ‘The next step is to challenge him for his title.

‘The worlds are in 2014 and that’s the next big target for me.

‘I will be involved with it, but to win it, well, there will be another funny picture of me going crazy!

‘I’ve always believed I can do it, but it’s nice to have this win on the board. Psychologically, it gives you a boost.’