Former British tennis number one puts Potters Bar teen through her paces

13:12 09 June 2012

Former British No.1 tennis player Greg Rusedski with Becky Brown

Former British No.1 tennis player Greg Rusedski with Becky Brown

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POTTERS BAR’S Becky Brown was put through her paces by former British No.1 tennis player Greg Rusedski as her bid to become a Barclays Ball Kid entered its final stage.

The 16-year-old Dame Alice Owen’s School pupil was one of 100 youngsters to be given expert tuition from Rusedski at the Barclays Ball Kids National Trial at Westway Sports Centre in London.

Up for grabs is the prize of starring alongside Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the O2 as one of 30 ball kids for the ATP World Tour Finals in November.

Brown demonstrated her talent in front of Rusedski as well as Mark Petchey, the former coach of current British No.1 Andy Murray, who will also be in action at the ATP World Tour Finals.

And Islington Boat Club member Brown admitted it would be a dream come true to rub shoulders with the likes of Murray and his international rivals later this year.

“I got to the last 100 last year but unfortunately wasn’t picked. Hopefully I have improved enough on my footwork, speed and ball-handling skills to show I am good enough this year,” said Brown, who has beaten off competition from thousands of 12-16 year-olds to make it this far.

“It would be a brilliant opportunity to share the court with players like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and it is a once in a lifetime chance really.

“Tsonga is my favourite player because he looks really cool on court and he does really fun stuff to entertain the crowd like doing kick-ups with the tennis balls.”

The nationwide Barclays Ball Kids search began in January with Brown – a former pupil at Hanover Primary School & Nursery - qualifying from the south east regional trial at Sutton Tennis Academy.

And Rusedski, who along with Petchey will select the lucky winners, believes Brown will be in for a treat she will never forget should she reach the O2.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for these kids because if you love your tennis then you get to see the eight best players in the world and be on the same court as them,” said Rusedski, who reached No.4 in the world during his playing days.

“Right now we are going through a really magical era of tennis stars and to think that Brown could be alongside them is brilliant.

“We are narrowing it down to just 30 which is very difficult but it does ensure we have the best of the best come November at the O2.”

For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November, you can visit ww.barclaysballkids.com

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