James moves on to international stage

Budding tennis star James Parkin, from North Shields.
Budding tennis star James Parkin, from North Shields.

A RISING tennis star from North Shields has been playing in his first international event after being called up to the GB squad.

James Parkin is one of two boys selected to play for Great Britain Under-12 Boys at the prestigious Open Super 12 Tournament in Auray, France.

The Auray tournament is renowned as the premier European event for under-12 players and boasts previous winners such as Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters and Dinara Safina.

Parkin, pictured, travelled to France with the GB squad during the recent February half-term and pitted his wits against the cream of European talent in both singles and doubles.

He put in a creditable performance on his first overseas outing, defeating the French number one Maxence Beague from Burgundy 6-2 6-2, before losing in the last 32 to the highly rated Russian Alexey Zakharov, fresh from his win in Billancourt, Paris.

Parkin and his doubles partner Ewen Lumsden (Glasgow) defeated the French pair of Droguet and Lambling before the Geordie/Glaswegian axis succumbed in the last 16 to the Czech pair of Machac and Sedlar.

He and the rest of the squad had a wonderful experience and spent a week living with a French host family.

Parkin has also been selected by the LTA to attend a week’s clay court training at the end of March

He will attend the Total Tennis Club in Barcelona as part of a squad of eight under-12 boys.

As well as a rigorous training schedule he will play an international event against similarly rated Spanish boys.

A pupil at St Thomas More Roman Catholic Academy, Parkin trains at the Northumberland Tennis Academy under head coach Chris Sanderson and is a member of Cullercoats Lawn Tennis Club.