Baker makes strides with stunning year

Portsmouth tennis ace Blu Baker during the 2011 season
Portsmouth tennis ace Blu Baker during the 2011 season
Aaron Butcher with his Road To Wimbledon trophy following coutny glory

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Rising tennis star Blu Baker looks set for a big 2012 and beyond after a 2011 that rivals Novak Djokovic’s remarkable record.

While Djokovic stormed to the top of the world rankings with a playing record of 70 wins and just six defeats, the 10-year-old ace played 158 competitive matches throughout the calendar year and picked up a staggering 135 wins with 22 tournament victories to his name.

The talented youngster has shown some serious potential at a tender age, met British number one Andy Murray and also worked with the world-renowned Francis Rogi, who coaches Rafael Nadal and the Spanish Davis Cup team.

Dad Kevin, head coach of Portsmouth Tennis Academy, believes his son has shown the dedication required but knows it will take a huge commitment for him to eventually make the grade.

Baker said: ‘It has been a great year for Blu and a lot of people have been involved in his progress but ultimately it has to come from him.

‘His attitude and commitment to his training and competing has been excellent all year. It can be a grind but we try to change it up as much as we can.

‘There is an awful lot of repetition work involved, like any sport if you want to become good, but there is a lot of work to be done

‘Talent alone will only take you so far.

‘Hard work and a focused mentality are crucial even from a really young age.’

The St John’s College student continued his winning run even over the Christmas holidays with three tournament successes at Bath, Brighton and Southampton.

But it has been an impressive team effort – with mum TJ the bus driver, junior coach Oliver Barnes and fitness trainer Andy Ranson all involved in his day-to-day development as he bids to eventually follow in Murray’s footsteps and challenge the elite players in the world.

Baker junior said: ‘I’ve had a great year competing and I got to work with Rafa’s coach in Spain. I’ve really enjoyed it.’