Kate Marks from St Joseph’s School was given a tennis master class from three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker as her bid to become a Barclays Ball Kid entered its final stage. The 14-year-old St Joseph’s School pupil was one of 130 youngsters to be given expert tuition from Becker at the Barclays Ball Kids national trials at Westway Sports Centre in London. Up for grabs is the prize of starring alongside Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and British number one Andy Murray at the O2Arena as one of 30 ball kids for the ATP World Tour Finals in November. Tavistock Tennis Club’s Marks demonstrated her talent in front of Becker and Murray’s former coach Mark Petchey and admitted it would be a dream come true to rub shoulders with the likes of Federer and Nadal.‘It would just be an amazing experience to be at the O2 Finals, I really like the idea of being a ball girl and working as a team,’ said Kate, who beat off competition from 2500 other hopefuls to get this far. I would love the chance to see some of my heroes up close; Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are my two favourite players in the world so to meet them would just be incredible. ‘Novak has been pretty much unbeatable this year while Roger is a really good role model. It would be pretty nerve wracking to be a ball girl for them but I think I could cope, you just have to remember what you’ve been taught. ’The nationwide Barclays Ball Kids search began last November with Kate –who plays tennis three times a week –qualifying from the Exeter trial. And Becker, who along with Petchey will select the lucky winners, believes the lucky 30 are in for a treat they will never forget if they reach the O2.Boris Becker, who also won two Australian Opens and one US Open during his illustrious career, said: ‘I have been very impressed with what I have seen and I couldn’t believe the standard last year but this year it seems even better, kids like Kate have been amazing.’
Pictured above is Top tennis coach Mark Petchey with Kate Marks.
Write up courtesy of the Tavistock Times.