Billericay’S Leanne Judge admits her chance to get up close and personal with tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals cannot come quick enough.
After fighting off competition from 2,500 children across the country, Judge, 13, will follow in sister Nicola’s footsteps from last year and be one of 30 Barclays Ball Kids at the O2 Arena in London from November 20-27.
Judge spent her half-term at The Hampshire Health & Racquets Club in Southampton being put through her paces ready for her week in the spotlight in the capital.
And while she is expecting a tough week’s work at the O2 the Billericay School pupil cannot wait to share the court with Murray and co.
“I am really excited about being at the O2 now,” said Judge, who will also rub shoulders with Novak Djokovic — winner of three of the four Grand Slams in 2011 — and 16-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer.
“The training week was hard but I knew it would be because my sister told me about it.
“I am most excited to be on court with Novak Djokovic and I am just looking forward to it now.”
More than 35,000 spectators a day will see Judge in action at the eight-day season finale, which sees the cream of world tennis go head-to-head for total prize money of nearly three million pounds.
But Judge will not be the only south Essex representative experiencing the atmosphere in south east London, as 14-year-old Southend High School for Girls pupil Isabella Wolfe is also taking to the court.
And much like Judge, the Southend youngster believes there will be more than a few nerves when she steps out onto court for the first time later this month.
“I am excited about it but I am nervous at the same time,” said Wolfe, who plays her tennis Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club.
“I went to watch Justin Bieber there and it just made me think that the finals are going to be amazing.”
>For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London go to www.barclaysballkids.com