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Haverhill’s Leon Bailey enjoys ball boy experience at ATP World Tour Finals

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Haverhill’s Leon Bailey enjoyed a week to remember as he shared the spotlight with US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Haverhill’s Leon Bailey enjoyed a week to remember as he shared the spotlight with US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Having won a nationwide competition the Castle Manor Academy pupil shared the court at the O2 Arena with the cream of world tennis, including Roger Federer, world No.1 and eventual champion Novak Djokovic and Murray.

After his week in the limelight 15-year-old Bailey – who saw off 2500 other children to get his 15 minutes of fame – admitted it had been an experience to savour.

“The week was a great experience,” said Bailey – who appeared in front of 20,000 spectators a day at the London event.

“Even though I was really looking forward to it all it was miles better than I actually thought it would be.

“In the build up to it after the national trials I was really scared and I was thinking ‘do I want to do it or do I not’ and I was really nervous.

“When I got here I had to run on to Murray’s first game so I was even more scared but once I got that done I was fine.

“Being on court in front of all those people was amazing and the atmosphere was incredible, especially for Murray’s matches.”

The 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who shared the court with the ball kids during the competition at the O2, was quick to praise the Haverhill Lawn Tennis Club member.

“The Barclays Ball Kids all did great,” Tsonga said.

“They were really good ball kids.

“I’m used to having some good ones in Roland Garros and in Paris Bercy so I think they’re really good.

“I think the most important element for me was their attention because they need to be ready at all times to receive a ball, to give a ball, give a towel or something.

“The most important thing is concentration.

For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London visit www.barclaysballkids.com

For all the latest sport see Thursday’s (November 22) Echo.

 

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