Teenage girls set to serve top tennis stars at tournament

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TWO teenagers are on their way to sharing a court with international tennis legends.

Rebecca Richardson, from Washington, and Fiona Kirtley Harrold, from Cleadon, attended a trial in Sunderland to become a ball girl at a top tennis tournament.

The 13-year-olds are two of 100 youngsters picked from thousands of entrants from across the UK who have made it through to the final selection trial in London, on April 28.

From there, 30 children aged between 12 and 16 will be chosen as Barclays Ball Kids.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals will be at London’s O2 arena in November, and the girls could take to the court with the likes of Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Rebecca, who attends Biddick School Sports College, said: “I’d love to be a Barclays Ball Kid because I want to be a professional tennis player when I’m older.

“It would be really great experience to see how they play and it would also just be a fantastic experience.

“I went last year and got through to the national trial but unfortunately didn’t make the last 30.

“I think the coaches are looking for the most confident people with a really good posture and people who did the skills the best.

“If I was chosen for the final squad I would be ecstatic, I’d be over the moon.

The girls were two of nearly 50 children who took part in the regional selection trials at the Health and Racquet Club in Doxford Park, impressing with their athleticism, agility, endurance, balance and speed.

Head trainer Mark Magrath has also been involved with the selection and training of the Wimbledon Championships ball boys and girls.

“We had a fantastic array of talent in Sunderland,” he said.

“A lot of kids turned up. It was a great trial, very competitive with a lot of strong athletes.

“It was really nice to see kids that play a variety of different sports to such a high standard, as well as a lot of tennis players, and it made our job really difficult when selecting the kids for the National Selection Trials in April.”

Twitter: @sunechohannah