TENNIS: Amelia's ace
POULSHOT tennis starlet Amelia Bissett asserted herself as the country’s number one in her age group last weekend by winning the Aegon Winter National Tour final.
The nine-year-old, who goes to Monkton Combe School, near Bath, took to the court at the National Tennis Centre in London as the top 16 in the UK went to head-to-head.
Bissett, who trains at the Team Bath Tennis Centre, came top of the pile, beating Middlesex rival Andrea Pineda, from Middlesex, 7-5, 7-2 in the final.
“Before the first match, I was very nervous but when I started playing I didn’t feel too bad,” said the youngster, who clinched the number one spot in the nine and under age group last month.
“Some of the games were really close and I did get a bit nervous again then but I played really well.
“(Winning) was a surprise but I was really happy.
“I really like training and I want to try and become a professional one day.”
Bissett is backed by the Lawn Tennis Association’s Aegon FutureStars programme and mum Liz says that her daughter has been going from strength to strength in recent months.
“At the start of the season, this was the one that she wanted to win,” she said.
“She became the number one in February after a grade two competition in Nottingham and this is the biggest thing that she’s won so far.
“She was up against one of the top girls in the first round and the girl she played in the final (Pineda) had beaten her before but she got better as it went on – her coach said during the final that she was playing her best tennis.”
Bissett’s older brother Will, 15, also trains at Team Bath and is on the FutureStars programme.
He is currently striving to improve his international ranking by competing in International Tennis Federation (ITF) U18 tournaments.
Mum Liz added: “He’s just been in Malta last weekend and he’s got an ITF competition in Nottingham this weekend. He’s doing well because he’s playing against people a few years older than him.”
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