Yorkshire Tennis Ace Serves Up National Success
Huddersfield based girl, Charlotte Howard, who is 15 years old, has served up some amazing tennis successes in 2018.
Having already won 4 regional tournaments since the start of the year, the teenager set her sights on her first national title. And she did it, winning Sutton’s Easter Grade 2 tournament to be named 18s girls National Champion.
Little did she know, she would follow that up with a second national title the week after at Nottingham junior open, when she smashed the final to take the title of 18s National champion there too! That’s 2 national titles in as many weeks!
Both tournaments attract the best players in the country, so Howard had to beat older, more experienced and higher ranked and rated players to win.
Charlotte started playing tennis socially in her home town of Portsmouth when she was 3 years old. She has always enjoyed sport and achieved many successes in playing Hockey for Havant and for Hampshire, Karate and Cross Country running but never achieved any real success in tennis.
This was to change when at 13, Lottie, as she likes to be called, experienced a few weeks at the Gomez Tennis Academy in Florida where she met international coach Rene Gomez. The experience of working with Rene, who previously coached Andre Agassi, Anna Kournikova and Monica Seles, genuinely inspired her.
Upon returning from Florida, the teenager decided she wanted to devote herself to the sport of tennis. Faced with this, her parents supported their daughter and during the last two years have experienced many ups and downs of the tennis journey.
Last year, Charlotte moved to Yorkshire to work full time with new head coach, Matt Smith and his team at Huddersfield Lawn Tennis Centre. Smith is a LTA Level 5 Master Performance Coach and as a junior player is still the only British player to have won Tarbes, known as the under 14s World Championship.
Most tennis fans will be familiar with Smith’s other player, Marcus Willis who played Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon, in 2016.
“When I first met Matt, and his team, I was genuinely in awe and very nervous about whether he would take me on. He works to a very high level of intensity but is honestly the most inspirational coach I’ve ever known. He has positively pushed me to levels I would never had dreamed of but also made me believe I can keep going further”.
2018 has seen the meteoric rise of the youngster; from struggling wannabe tennis player to now 18s national champion in back to back titles in Surrey and Nottingham. Howard has genuinely upset the established development process.
The 15 year old’s latest wins will take her to 48th in the UK for open woman’s tennis and number 2 for 15s and under. The journey is still long and full of uncertainty for Howard who dreams of being a pro...but she has the drive and the right team around her, so she might just get there.
Charlotte will now be focusing on more high level tournaments including on the British Tour. But of course, the dream would be to get a wild card for this year’s junior Wimbledon.
Yorkshire Tennis Ace Serves Up National Success, 18th April 2018, 15:37 PM