MCC’s teenage tennis scholar Claire Vigrass, who plays and trains at Lord’s, has overcome injury to become the new Real Tennis Ladies World Champion.
In a one-sided final at the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club, 19-year-old Vigrass – of Isleworth, Essex, beat fellow Briton Karen Hird 6/1 6/4.
The win came just 24 hours after Vigrass, alongside her 23-year-old sister Sarah, beat Hird and partner Rosie Snell in the World Championship Doubles final.
The remarkable pair of victories comes just six months after Vigrass suffered a broken ankle which kept her off court for three months in the build up to the championship.
Her form recovered quickly in a short space of time leading up to the World Championships though, allowing Vigrass to dominate the women’s competition.
'Over the moon'
World number one ranked Vigrass thanked MCC for its part in helping her win a first world title.
She said: “I am absolutely over the moon!
“I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement that I have had from Tennis & Squash Manager Adam Phillips and his team at MCC.
“In the build-up to the Championships I was able to train like a professional and use the world-class facilities available at Lord’s - there is no doubt that being at MCC has played a huge part in my development as a player.
“Playing in the World Championships was an incredible new experience for me.
“My form going into the tournament was strong, but playing on the biggest stage in the game brought with it a whole new level of nerves and expectation.”
Phillips added: “Claire is an extremely rare and wonderful talent. She is a tremendous athlete with a fantastic work ethic - both on and off the court.
“At only nineteen years old she is undoubtedly the best woman to have ever played Real Tennis, and I can see her dominating the ladies game for many years to come.
“It is an absolute pleasure to work with Claire, and everyone at MCC is very proud of her success.”
Vigrass has been based at MCC for the past eighteen months allowing her to train on a full-time basis on one of only twenty Real Tennis courts in Britain.
She turned professional at the start of last month, and currently holds the British, Australian, French and US Open titles, alongside the world number one ranking.