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Wimbledon wannabe one of four to play for GBJanuary 18th, 2016
A schoolboy who dreams of winning at Wimbledon has been selected to represent Great Britain in a tennis tournament against France.
Theo, who attends The Grange Monmouth Preparatory School, will be one of just four youngsters from all over the country to play for GB during the four-day under-12 event this week.
The dedicated 10-year-old, who trains every single day, will take to the courts at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in London to play in singles and doubles matches on Thursday and Friday.
He said: “It’s my birthday on Thursday, but we’ll be celebrating when we come back because I’ll be focussing so much on the event.
“When the email came through inviting me to play at the NTC I just felt proud. I’ll be honoured to play for my country.
“I love tennis – the satisfaction and the excitement I get from it, as well as the friends I’ve made.”
Theo, who lives in Lea near Ross-on-Wye, started playing tennis when he was five-years-old.
He regularly wakes up at 6am to do his homework, ensuring his evenings are free for practice at Oxstalls Tennis Academy in Gloucester.
“I would love to win Wimbledon when I’m older,” Theo, who is sponsored by specialist equipment provider Babolat, said.
“It would be more than a dream come true. I shall have to work even harder every session to make that happen.
“Because of all the training I go through a pair of tennis shoes every three to four weeks, so I’m very lucky Babolat provides my kit for me.”
Theo has already won several national tournaments, including events at Manchester and Newquay, before carrying off the top prize at Queenswood in Hertfordshire where the top 24 boys in the country played.
The impressive youngster has even beaten 16-year-olds in matches before.
“Older players think they can power me off the court,” he added.
“They think they’ll serve and I won’t go anywhere near it – but it’s really satisfying to prove them wrong.
“I don’t try to out-hit them, because chances are they’re stronger than me.
“I try to use all the right angles to win. There’s quite a lot of maths involved in tennis too.”
Theo believes that while technique and fitness are vital to playing good tennis, controlling one’s emotions is the most important aspect.
“My coach gave me the best advice,” he continued.
“He said, if you get angry about missing an important shot, just go to the back of the court and when you turn around leave the anger behind you, it’s gone.
“You have to know how to brush things off.”
The Grange thoroughly supports Theo in his training, allowing him extra time off school to attend matches.
He added: “Although I know I could pursue a good career in tennis, I always put academics first.
“If I don’t end up playing tennis, I would like to be either a pilot or a lawyer.”
Mrs Elaine Thomas, Head of The Grange, said: “Theo has a really positive, sunny personality and is such a focussed pupil.
“He excels academically as well as in his tennis; I am really impressed by his levels of determination and commitment.”
Good luck Theo!