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Kent LTA name five winners before online awards ceremony

The Kent LTA annual awards will be held online for the first time this year - but some winners have already been announced.

A Zoom ceremony on January 21 replaces the usual presentation dinner which has been shelved due to Covid.

Emma Raducanu belatedly receives her LTA girls' player of the year award from GB Davis Cup captain Leon Smith at the National Tennis Centre
Emma Raducanu belatedly receives her LTA girls' player of the year award from GB Davis Cup captain Leon Smith at the National Tennis Centre

However, we can name five winners from the 108 nominations received from Kent clubs - a figure organisers described as incredible in the current climate.

Emma Raducanu is Kent player-of-the-year following her rise up the WTA rankings to 333, winning two LTA premier singles titles in the summer and being selected for Great Britain’s Federation Cup team.

It’s further recognition for Raducanu, who won last year’s LTA national junior player of the year title, a prize she has only just collected.

Kent junior player of the year goes to Jack Pinnington Jones, who has risen to No.35 in the ITF junior world rankings.

Team of the year is the Kent ladies’ winter county cup side, who have been national champions for four consecutive years.

Junior team of the year is the under-18 boys, whose Group 2 title saw them promoted back to Division 1.

And the Kent club of the year (for clubs with one to four courts) has been won by St John’s in Tunbridge Wells.

Awards panel chairman Mary Evans said: “These annual awards are a great way to highlight the work of clubs - and the people in them - right across the county.

“They promote tennis at a grassroots level, getting people of all ages involved in this fun and healthy sport.

“More than ever, the nominations in 2020 shone a spotlight on the wonderful innovation that occurred in many venues, welcoming lots of new players into the sport whilst keeping everyone safe.”

Shortlisted in other categories: Education award: Bridge & Patrixbourne CE Primary School, Deal Parochial CE Primary School.

Young person: Ethan Bates - Frindsbury LTC, Kati-Ann Rust - Bromley Tennis Centre/Bridge Tennis Club, Kai Williams - The Parklangley Club. Competition: Gravesham LTC Summer Spectacular, Jack Petchey’s 21st Birthday Celebration Series - Old Wilsonians LTC, The Parklangley Performance Lockdown Team Challenge.

Official: Sarah Langford - Bromley Tennis Centre, Angie Suleau - Gravesham LTC; Community & Park: Kings Hill Community Tennis Club, Tennis for Free Bromley.

Club 5+ Courts; Gravesham LTC, Old Wilsonians LTC, Sundridge Park. Development Coach: Daniel Shearing - Bethersden Tennis Club, Sam Tyler - The Parklangley Club, Michel Suleau - Gravesham LTC.

Volunteer: Diane Winters - Tunbridge Wells LTC, Anna Wilson - Sundridge Park, Andrew Crickett - Oakwood TC.

Lifetime Achievement: Mick Proffitt - The Parklangley Club, Janet O’Sullivan - Gravesham LTC.

* Sevenoaks player Anton Matusevich was in fine form as he won the Battle of the Brits Premier League of Tennis at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

The four-day event saw a group of Britain’s best players battle it out against each other to be crowned champion.

Matusevich was tied on points at the top of the leaderboard with Jack Draper. That led to a head-to-head which Matusevich won 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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