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Elite players are a perfect example for juniors

Former UK No 1 Katie O’Brien believes a talented generation of British juniors can take inspiration from the country’s best tennis players as she revealed Emma Raducanu had a hitting session with one rising stars of British tennis.

This summer has seen a boom in British tennis with ten players reaching the second round at the All England Club this year, the tournament’s best showing since 1984.

O’Brien is the LTA Women’s National Coach and spends time at the National Tennis Center working with promising British juniors such as Mimi Xu, Jasmine Conway and Hannah Klugman.

And with some of Britain’s top tennis players also training at the NTC in Roehampton, O’Brien thinks it can be the perfect source of inspiration for juniors.

She said: “They see our best players in action, so they come down and see Cam Norrie training, they can see Katie Boulter and Emma Raducanu, they can see Andy Murray and it’s just inspiring to be in that environment.

“And I think success breeds success in the same professional habits that we see in pros and young people can see that. I think our British pros realize how influential they are, how much they can inspire the next generation.

“Just at the start of the grass season, Emma Raducanu wanted to play NTC on grass at the last minute and she came across one of our off-court juniors, Mimi Xu, and she actually offered to play with her for 45 minutes – that’s something Mimi will never forget.

Eleven British players were in girls’ singles at Wimbledon this year, with 17-year-old Conway reaching the quarter-finals after receiving a wildcard in the main draw.

And with 14-year-old Xu reaching the third round and 13-year-old Klugman making her singles debut and reaching the women’s doubles quarter-finals, O’Brien believes this summer will be an invaluable experience for those in action. .

“We have a generation of young talent coming forward, it’s not just one and the spotlight isn’t just on that one person,” she added.

“We had 11 junior girls in the main draw and they were all competitive, so they’re all going to be pushing each other for weeks, months and years to come.

“Our team had a great summer and great opportunities in addition to playing amongst their peers in the junior game, just giving them that extra belief that they are competitive and if they want to have a career in tennis they probably can. .

“I’m not saying that all of our juniors will be professional players, but the experiences they’re having right now will probably be very useful to them in life, not just in tennis.”

For the latest action on the UK summer grass season, check out the ALT website

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