Louis aims for the top

St Albans tennis hopeful Louis Gibbard was given a helping hand this week from former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski at the Lawn Tennis Association s Talent ID Week. The eight-year-old was one of 60 youngsters from across the south-east, south-west and ea

St Albans tennis hopeful Louis Gibbard was given a helping hand this week from former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski at the Lawn Tennis Association's Talent ID Week.

The eight-year-old was one of 60 youngsters from across the south-east, south-west and east of England invited to the session at the National Tennis Centre in London after he successfully progressed through county and regional talent ID days to make the final week.

Louis was put through his paces in front of LTA talent ID team who were aiming to spot future stars of the game who even at such an early age were displaying the right attributes that could enable them to make a real impact on the game.

Louis said: "The talent ID day was great and a lot of fun. The standard has been really high and it was very challenging but I got to play against some other really good players.


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"The coaches have been really fun and made it a really enjoyable day. All the drills and exercises were pretty tiring but I've never really done anything like this before. I tried my best so I hope I showed the coaches what I can do. My dream is to play at Wimbledon so I just need to keep practicing and hopefully one day I will be able to play at the Grand Slams."

Expert advice on the day was given by Rusedski, Talent ID Ambassador for the LTA, who admits he is hugely excited by the potential for British tennis.

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Rusedski said: "This week is all part of our desire within British tennis to spot and support potential talent at a young age.

"There is no doubt that we have the raw talent in this country, but that talent needs to be given the correct support if it is going to come to fruition.

"Louis, and all the other players here this week, have demonstrated the qualities we are looking for - a natural talent, athletic ability, a love of the sport, an appetite to improve their game and the desire to train hard and compete in tournaments to constantly improve."

Meanwhile, Steven Martens, Player Director at the LTA, said:

"Identifying talent from an early age is crucial for the sport and we're confident that these young players will demonstrate that we have a wealth of talent coming through in the junior ranks.

"Tennis is a sport where skills need to be developed step by step and we hope that each of these players will go on to reach their full potential.

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