Youngsters inspired by world champion Vigrass

Promising young girl players from south Warwickshire enjoyed a masterclass from women’s world champion Claire Vigrass at Moreton Morrell Real Tennis club.

Around a dozen youngsters aged between 12 and 19 attended the national training day, one of three sessions organised at different venues around Britain by the Ladies’ Real Tennis Association, and it has triggered an upsurge of interest in the game in the Midlands.

Girls from King’s High School, Warwick, will be starting real tennis sessions at Moreton Morrell in September.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Until the 1980s the game was virtually all-male but there is now a thriving women’s circuit including open championships in Australia, France, Britain and the United States.

Professional Vigrass, 21, competes on equal terms with many men players and in 2010 won the British under-21 championship against an otherwise all-male field.

“I was impressed by the talent on show,” said Vigrass, who recently achieved a handicap of seven to make her the greatest woman player of all time.

“We’ve got growing numbers of young girls coming into the sport and many love the subtle tactics as you have to use your brain cleverly as well as moving and hitting the ball well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The clubs are really encouraging youngsters to play and giving people the chance to come and try their hand at this very addictive sport.”

Among those taking part was 19-year-old former British under-16 champion Madeline Grant from Newbold Pacey.

“It was a great day” said Grant, who is aiming for a real tennis Blue in next season’s Oxford-Cambridge Varsity match.

“We all learnt a lot from Claire - she is enormously patient and knowledgable and she made it fun too.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s really inspired me to try to take my game to the next level and I’ll be entering several of the women’s championships this season.”

To find out more about the game or for a free session to try it out, contact the professionals at Moreton Morrell Real Tennis Club on 651229.