10-year-old Bexley squash player competes in Dunlop British Junior Open
PUBLISHED: 14:05 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:05 04 January 2018
He's only 10 but already a rising star in the world of international squash.
Dylan Roberts, from Bexley, is taking part in the Dunlop British Junior Open this week.
Matches run between January 3 and 7, and young Dylan has high hopes.
He has out-played expectations finishing higher than his seeded position in an under-13 category.
The Junior Open in Birmingham sees 600 players under 19 from 30 nations do battle.
Dylan is seeded seventh for the under-11 category – being played for the first time this year.
He said: “This is the first one they have done and there are not many national under-11 competitions to play in.
“I have only played two under-11 and one under-13 tournament this season.
“I won both the Kent Closed and Purley Copper. I finished above my seeding in the under-13 competition as well so I’m going to Birmingham in good form hopefully.”
He is already ranked two in England for his age helped by being runner-up in the English Junior Championships last year aged nine.
Dylan added: “I play at Bexley Lawn Tennis and Squash at least four times a week. My coach is Ben Ford, who was ranked in the top 50 in the world.
“My biggest hope is to become number one in England.”
And he follows the best to learn all the secrets, including Egypt’s world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy and Paul Coll of New Zealand.
Dylan said: “Elshorbagy is just an amazing player and I love watching him play. Paul Coll is a hero because he has fantastic movement and I love his Superman dives.”
Having picked up a tennis racket at three, Dylan moved to squash at seven.
The Joydens Wood, Wilmington pupil said: “I love squash because it is a fun sport.”
Dad Paul was a semi-pro footballer who now play squash, and his sister Madeleine is a GB junior gymnast.
Paul said: “If he continues to work hard and progress the way he is there is no reason for him not to achieve his goals.”
Dylan is joined in this week’s competition by Jude Gibbens, also from Kent, who is seeded eight.