EXPERT timing is considered a crucial element towards success in tennis.
And Paul Calvert, from Lurgan, recently clicked into top gear at the perfect moment.
The university student picked up no fewer than three prizes at the under 21s’ Ulster Championships hosted by Belfast Boat Club to cap a superb farewell to the youth scene.
Calvert, a member at Portadown from his early teens, will enter the senior tier next season but can make the jump forward boosted by a trophy-packed final campaign across the under 21s.
“Play traditionally lasts the full week and we had finals all inside one day so it was quite demanding,” said Calvert. “I was very tired at the end but delighted with my results on a week in which everything worked out well.
“I won the mixed doubles with Shannon Andrews then the singles and, finally, the doubles beside Michael Blease.
“The first two finals were won across straight sets but the doubles went to a third and we even had to dig deep to battle back from 1-0 down. I just had to concentrate on keeping up my focus and I put my improved form down to playing so many tournaments this season.
“My results have been pretty consistent in terms of reaching the latter knockout stages but it all came together at the Ulster finals.
“I had won the under 14s’ singles in the past and also previously lifted youth titles at Portadown’s County Armagh tournament.
“It makes sense that the more I play competitive tennis the sharper my game will become and I have really enjoyed this season.”