Copland must be on the ball at O2

Alice Copland outside the O2 Arena in London

Alice Copland outside the O2 Arena in London

First published in Tennis by

Alice Copland admits her chance to get up close and personal with tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals can’t come quickly enough.

After fighting off competition from 2,500 children across the country, the 15-year-old will be one of 30 Barclays Ball Kids at the O2 Arena in London from November 20-27.

Copland, who lives in Baildon, spent her half-term at The Hampshire Rackets & Health Club in Southampton being put through her paces ready for her week in the spotlight in the capital.

And while she is expecting a tough week’s work at the O2, Copland cannot wait to share the court with Murray and company.

“The week in Southampton was really good but it was hard work,” said Copland, who will also rub shoulders with Novak Djokovic – winner of three of the four grand slam titles this year – and 16-time grand slam winner Roger Federer.

“The atmosphere is going to be great at the O2 Arena and I am most excited about seeing Andy Murray, because he is British and I have supported him since he’s been around, and Novak Djokovic.

“I have been to the O2 to watch for the last two years so it will be really nice to be on court.”

Over 35,000 spectators a day will see Copland in action at the eight-day season finale, which sees the cream of world tennis go head-to-head for total prize money of nearly £3million.

And while itching to get started, the Guiseley School pupil believes there will be more than a few nerves when she steps out onto court for the first time later this month.

“I am so nervous,” said Copland, who is a member of Heaton Tennis and Squash Club.

“I was nervous performing in front of my group at the training week, so I know I am going to be worse at the finals – but I can’t wait.”

* For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, visit www.barclaysballkids.com

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