You’ve had a busy summer playing for Stirling, on the Futures tour and playing county week…what was the highlight?
“It’s quite hard to choose one highlight as I’ve had a lot of great experiences this summer, including getting to play against Jamie Murray at county week, and also regaining my singles world ranking. However, the highlight for me was definitely winning my first Futures Doubles title in Belarus. I’d been in 3 finals before that tournament so getting over the winning line was a great feeling!”
When did you first pick up a racket? Can you remember why?
“I was probably about five or six years old. I’d always shown an interest in tennis. My gran used to take me out in the pram when I was little and I used to sit up and watch the tennis even at that age so I guess when I got old enough to play my parents let me try it out. I enjoyed it so just kept going back to play.”
What’s the best part about playing tennis?
“It’s a great feeling when you hit a clean shot and it goes exactly where you want it but I think the best part of tennis for me is the competitiveness. A lot of the time it’s just you on the court so if you make a mistake there’s nobody else to blame. That combined with knowing what you’re doing is directly affecting what your opponent is doing is quite an interesting feeling as well. It’s one that you don’t get in too many sports.”
What’s been the hardest part about playing on the Futures circuit?
“The travel in between tournaments. A few times this summer I’ve had to travel overnight, sleep on planes and in the airport, and have to play a match the next day. It’s not the easiest when you’re trying to prepare for a tournament but it’s sometimes something that has to be done.”
How do you balance your tennis with university life?
“I try to be as organised as I can, it doesn’t always work out that way but I try. The university has also been a big help to me. I’ve always had the support of my lecturers and module coordinators so that definitely makes a huge difference!”
Are there any things that you feel like you miss out on due to your tennis commitments?
“There are some things I miss out on. You could argue I miss out a bit on the social side of things, for example, I don’t get a massive amount of time to see my friend from home due to my travel commitments and their commitments also. So I might miss a birthday or two but whenever there’s time it’s always good to catch up.”
What has been your favourite tournament that you’ve played in so far?
“My favourite tournament probably has to be the MasterU’ BNP Paribas event (World University Championships). It was a great tournament in so many ways, I was proud to represent my country, the team and coaching staff were so nice and everyone got along really well, and the gold medal put the icing on the cake!”
How did it feel to represent Stirling at the European University Games? What are the differences to playing singles tournaments?
“It’s always a great feeling to represent Stirling at the EUG. I always looked up to the tennis scholars at Stirling Uni from a young age, so I’m very proud to wear a Stirling Uni shirt. So representing Stirling at a EUG will always be a sporting highlight of mine. It’s definitely different playing in a team compared to being somewhere on your own. Just having people around to help each other both on and off the court is something different. Tennis is such an individual sport that whenever the team events arise everyone always looks forward to them.”
How does the standard compare between university and international tennis?
“A lot of the time at the bigger events the standard is one and the same. At the EUG a lot of the better ranked teams have players with world rankings who I’ve seen compete on the Futures and sometimes Challenger tours. This is not always the case but certainly at the bigger events this is the trend.”
If you could choose any past or present doubles partner, who would it be?
“Roger Federer – He’s the greatest player of all time so that would be an experience that you couldn’t really top.”
What advice would you give to an aspiring tennis player?
“The advice I’d probably give is try to make every practice matter. Whenever you step onto the court try to make yourself better, even if it’s just a little bit. Eventually all those little bits add up.”