One of 10 Brits selected this week for the inaugural World Deaf Tennis Championships, which takes place in Nottingham on 20-26 July, 19-year-old Clifton is due to begin his four-year course at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia in mid-August.
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to go to Davis and Elkins College, where I am hoping to study Sports Management,” said Clifton, who won his first senior National title in May after victory in the men’s doubles.
“It allows me to play competitive college tennis, continuing to improve my game and at the same time gaining a degree, so it combines the best of both worlds in terms of tennis and education.
“I hope I can inspire many more young deaf tennis players in Britain and out in the USA to chase their dreams. This is a huge step in the right direction to allow me to climb up the world deaf tennis rankings and to be the best I can be.”
Clifton and nine fellow Brits, including his 13-year-old brother Toby Clifton, are among more than 80 of the world’s best players from over 20 countries set to contest the World Deaf Tennis Championships.
Medals will be contested in singles and doubles at senior and junior level, while there will also be free come and try sessions throughout the day on Saturday 25 July for deaf players, along with their friends and family, to try the sport, with equipment and coaching from experienced coaches all provided.
“It’s been a real honour to represent my country for the first time in the Deaflympics, the Dresse Cup, the world team championships for deaf tennis, and the European Championships over the last few years and I’m very excited to be playing in the very first World Championships and it will be even more of a proud moment to have Toby playing too,” added Clifton, who began playing deaf tennis in 2007 after his mother read about the Tennis Foundation and Jack attended his first deaf tennis training session.
“We will both be out to do our very best and I’m sure there will be plenty of great memories to take to the USA with me.”
Tickets for the 1st World Deaf Tennis Championships, which are organised by the Tennis Foundation in association with UK Deaf Sport, are on sale via Ticket Factory for just £5 and are available via the website: www.worlddeaftennischamps.co.uk.