PORTCHESTER’S Benjamin Mason 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 Priory School pupil shared the court as a ball boy at the O2 Arena with the cream of world tennis, including Roger Federer, eventual winner and world number one Novak Djokovic and Murray.
And after his week in the limelight, 16-year-old Mason – who saw off 2,500 other children to work as a ball boy – admitted it had been an experience to savour.
‘The week went really well and I really enjoyed it,’ said Mason, who appeared in front of 20,000 spectators a day at the London event.
‘It was an amazing experience and, although I was looking forward to it for ages, it was still better than I thought it would be.
‘Meeting all the players was really good and the hardest thing to do was not smile on court because when you give a towel to a player they are right in your face.
‘The funniest moment was when Andy Murray nearly knocked me over going for a ball. I had to move forward and then he had to jump over the board.
‘The players never miss a shot, it is just incredible. And so was the atmosphere.
‘I was on court for the Murray and Djokovic group match and when Murray broke back, the crowd erupted and it was crazy.’
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was also in action at the 02, said: ‘The Barclays Ball Kids all did great. They were really good ball kids.’
For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, visit barclaysballkids.com