Fareham’s India Taylor is itching to end a seven-month wait for her starring role at next week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2.
The 15-year-old schoolgirl is set to be one of just 30 Barclays Ball Kids who will rub shoulders with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in London at the glamorous eight-day finale to the 2013 tennis season.
Taylor, who attends Wykeham House School, saw off stiff competition from thousands of youngsters across the UK to earn the right to star at the O2 from Monday.
Having been handpicked by six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker back in April, Taylor spent last week at a training camp at the Hampshire Health & Racquet Club.
Now she can’t wait to get going and get on court for the televised event.
‘I have been working hard because we all know what we need to work for and I just want to make sure I am as sharp as possible for when I have to do it for real,’ said Taylor.
‘I know I have a few bits to tighten up on but I have come so far already.
‘It has been so much fun, and even though it is really hard work, everything is so much fun.
‘I knew it was going to be tough but once you know what position you are and what you are doing it gets a lot easier.’
Taylor will also share the court with 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro as eight singles, as well as eight doubles pairings, compete in front of 20,000 spectators each day.
And Taylor is determined to make the most of her moment in the spotlight with the world’s best players at the O2.
‘They kept saying every day how close we are to doing it at the O2 and I still can’t get over that I actually got through and will be doing it,’ Taylor added.
‘I have been counting down the days and it is really exciting.
‘I can’t wait to see Nadal as he is my favourite player.
‘I have never been to the O2 so I don’t really know what to expect but that all adds to the excitement.’
n For more information about the Barclays Ball Kids programme, go to barclaysballkids.com or visit the Barclays Ball Kids Facebook page