Baker wins dream ticket to Florida

Blu Baker
Blu Baker
Blu Baker in action this season

Baker on the rise in Florida

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Blu Baker has been handed the opportunity of a lifetime after top coach Rene Gomez invited him to his training academy in Florida.

The Southsea talent will fly to the Gomez Tennis Academy (GTA) this weekend to work with the man who has developed some of the greatest players in the game.

Gomez, who served as a valued coach at the prestigious Bollettieri Tennis Academy, has been responsible for the training of past greats such as Jim Courier, Andre Agassi and Anna Kournikova.

And Baker’s father, Kevin, believes the two-month experience could be a pivotal time in the 11-year-old starlet’s fledgling career.

He said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for Blu to continue his tennis education in a world-class environment,working with Rene and his team.

‘Rene has so much experience working with young players who have gone on to achieve in the game.

‘The next two months are a crucial period for Blu.’

The talented youngster, who spent time with Gomez at his academy in April, has been in dominant form on the domestic scene.

His latest result – victory at the Norwich Clay Court Championships in the boys 11 & under category – marked a fifth tournament win in a row.

And Kevin Baker believes an extended stay at the GTA is necessary to continue his son’s development.

He said: ‘When Blu came back from spending time with Rene you could see an improvement in his game.

‘He will have to work hard if he is going to continue to improve but working under Rene gives him every chance.’

The youngster, who is a big Roger Federer fan, can expect to be on the court for up to eight hours a day in the Florida sunshine.

And he could follow in the footsteps of his hero after being entered in the qualifying draw of the Eddie Herr International Championship, which served as a springboard to professional tennis for the Swiss world number one.

The tournament is held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton in November.

– JEFF MARSHMAN