Tennis prodigy Ruby, 12, grasps Wimbledon chance
- Credit: Archant
A talented 12-year-old has fulfilled her dream of playing competitively at the home of tennis.
Ruby Syer, from Toftwood, graced the All England Club in August after reaching the final stage of Road to Wimbledon, the UK's biggest junior tennis competition.
Having already triumphed in club and county-level matches to reach SW19, the youngster trod the same hallowed ground as her idol, Serena Williams, and saw off two opponents in the qualifying rounds.
Ruby, whose talent was first spotted when she was just five years old, ultimately lost her next match in three sets but came away grateful for the experience.
Her mother, Sarah Syer, said: "I kept saying to Ruby 'can you really believe you're here?' I was very humbled by it, to think it was all her own hard work that got her to Wimbledon.
"There is so much hard work and talent required and she is never lacking for effort. She may not always make the correct shot choices, but she always gives it 100pc no matter what.
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"She is so passionate and gets so upset when she doesn't win. After losing she came off court and said she was rubbish, but her opponent played so well and Ruby couldn't have done any more."
After already achieving one of her tennis goals, Ruby added: "It was really good and to think you are playing on the same court as the professionals is amazing.
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"I played really well, especially in my first match. I kept my head up and was controlled with my groundstrokes." Ruby, who harbours hopes of eventually turning professional, followed up her test at SW19 with another impressive performance at the Norfolk Junior Closed Championship last week.
She featured in six events, winning nine out of 14 matches along the way and coming out on top in the under-12s girls singles.
Ruby also reached the semi-finals in the under-14s and under-16s competitions, and surpassed expectations in the under-18s to finish runner-up.
"In those games against the older girls, she knows she's not expected to win so the pressure's off," added Mrs Syer, 46.
"I'm so proud of Ruby and it still overwhelms me that she will put herself out there - all the motivation comes from her."