In-form Park pair climbing the world rankings

A DEVONSHIRE Park Lawn Tennis Club duo has climbed up the world rankings after success in the Ali Bey International Tennis Tournament in Turkey.

Jason Barnett (left), aged 37, triumphed in the men’s 35-and-over singles competition and reached the final of the mixed doubles in the same age group.

The success bumped him up to second in the world men’s 35-and-over singles rankings, making him the highest-ranked British player in his age group.

Carmen Lewis, who partners Barnett in the mixed doubles and also plays at Devonshire Park, went from having no ranking to number nine in the world in that category.

Barnett, originally from Scotland, is a former professional tennis player, but lacked funding as a youngster to reach the full potential of his career. He’s now sponsored by A1 Pharmaceuticals, of which Carmen Lewis is co-founder.

Barnett defeated last year’s finalist Marius Raicea in the men’s singles final by a 6-1 6-1 score line. In doing so, he became the first Briton to take this title in what was his fourth consecutive final this year.

The Scotsman, who is also world number 3 in the men’s 35-and-over doubles, aims to become the first Briton with number one rankings in both singles and doubles in his age category.

Barnett and Lewis, who has only been playing tennis for five years, are now ranked fourth in the world ITF Seniors mixed couples table and both will combine again at the ITF Grade 1 GMP cup in Umag, Croatia in May.