This series profiles the Kids Who Play tennis. They’re not famous and they’re probably not future world champion players – they are part of the legion of kids for whom tennis is a sport that they enjoy and it’s an important part of their lives. Their stories show how tennis has benefited them and we believe they are all role models and ambassadors for the life-long game of tennis. Through the Kids Who Play we aim to demonstrate how you can play tennis and achieve personal milestones and goals at any and all levels of play.
When did you start playing tennis?
I’m 14 now and I started to play when I was 4 or 5 years old. I can’t remember anything about it! I’ve seen pictures though.
How often do you play and what is your training schedule?
During the school term I play 5 days a week. I have 2 or 3 squads with other kids, I have a small group session where we play doubles and I have an individual lesson. That changes on the holidays. I usually play tournaments on the holidays and have just a few lessons.
Do your school friends play tennis?
No! I’m the only one – it’s really sad! They don’t understand tennis at all! However, I love that I have two groups of friends – my school friends and my tennis friends. My school friends follow my tennis on Instagram! I post pictures from my tournaments.
Who is your favourite tennis player?
Roger Federer… He’s a great champion and my on-court manner is like his. He always looks calm and in control! I’m the same.
What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had as a player?
I hate it when people, especially my mum or my dad, watch me play. Recently at the County Championships I had to play right in front of a big crowd. That was awful! I don’t like everyone’s attention being on me – 5 or 10 people is fine, but 30 people is too much! I had to ignore them and I tried to avoid looking at them – just play.
Another challenge is that sometimes I don’t feel like playing – but I have to. I can’t just not go. My squad is booked, my coach is booked and if I don’t turn up it lets the squad and my coach down. So, I just get on with it – but even though I enjoy it once I get going, it is hard on the days when I just don’t feel like playing. My mum says that’s a part of “real life” – she doesn’t always feel like working either but she does it anyway!