Bennett makes the grade

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RISING Sunderland tennis star Daniel Bennett has represented Great Britain in the junior World Team Championships in the Czech Republic.

The teenager was part of the same three-player team that triumphed in the European Summer Cup in Majorca to gain entry to the Worlds – with Dan playing alongside Derbyshire’s Jay Clarke and Sam Ferguson.

The GB boys came third in their group – losing to Chinese Taipei and tournament favourites USA, but beating Switzerland – and went into the play-off for ninth-13th places in the competition.

Fourteen-year-old Daniel is set to return to the North East this Sunday to go straight into the Grade One domestic Nationals Championships which runs from August 19-24, where he is expected to be seeded third in the singles and second in the doubles.

Dan played a junior International Tennis Federation Grade Five tournament in July and gained world ranking points from his one match win which will open up the chance to be involved in more qualifying rounds of ITF tournaments in future.

Most players of Dan’s age would play ITF tournaments for 12-18 months before gaining their first ranking points, so he is already ahead of schedule.

Dan’s next tournaments are three ITF tournaments in Argentina between September 16 and October 16. He will travel there as part of a GB squad accompanied by national coaches.