PROFILE - Nathan Slattery - NENAGH GUARDIAN SPORTS AWARD WINNER 2020
Nenagh Tennis Clubs Nathan Slattery won the Irish Under 16 Boys Singles title at the Fitzwilliam club in Dublin last summer.
Seeded number 2, Nathan defeated Daniel Borisov, 6/3, 6/1, in the final, who had earlier beaten Irish number 1 Zach Murphy from Castleview LTC (Carrick-on-Suir) in the other semi-final.
Nathan Slattery is the first Nenagh player to win an Irish Singles title, and it was his second Irish success of 2020, as earlier in the year he won the Irish Under 16 Indoor title.
Since the imposition of Covid-19 lockdowns for the third time late last year which saw the closure of all tennis facilities in Ireland, the decision was made for Nathan to travel to Spain where he could continue to train as tennis still permitted there.
Accepting the award on Nathan’s behalf were his parents Kieran and Julianna Slattery who explained the reasoning behind the decision.
“He wanted to keep as it as he wants to turn professional,” Kieran said.
“He had no option, either give up or return to where he was training for a couple of years, so he has returned to an academy in Barcelona to the same coaches he had and is loving it, playing tennis every day.
“He is staying with a family, they have their own pods in a pod competition group where they stay together, train together, go to competitions together. Even though the case rates are higher in Spain, they are able to continue safely there. We had no worries sending him over.
“Hopefully, there will be a few ITF tournaments played in Ireland during the summer but if not, his coach is already talking about taking him to competitions on the continent.
“His plan is to gain a sports scholarship in the US and has been taken on board by tennis coach Mark Finnegan who now has a recruitment company and has made contact with coaches in the US to see would they take Nathan on so going that route he will have his tennis and his education out of it as well.”