Eleanor Cross admits her chance to get up close and personal with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray can’t come quick enough.
SUTTON’S Eleanor Cross 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 quick enough.
After fighting off competition from 2,500 children across the country Cross, 13, will be one of 30 Barclays Ball Kids at the O2 Arena in London from November 20-27.
Cross spent her half-term at The Hampshire Health & Racquets 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, the Sutton High School for Girls pupil can’t wait to share the court with Murray and co.
“The training week was hard, especially learning what you need to do in tie breaks,” said Cross, who will also rub shoulders with Novak Djokovic – winner of three of the four Grand Slams in 2011 – and 16-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer.
“It is really exciting to be able to ball girl for the best players in the world and I am really looking forward to it. I am most looking forward to hopefully being on court with Andy Murray because I really like him because he’s British.”
Over 35,000 spectators a day will see Cross 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 three million pounds.
But she won’t be the only south-west Londoner on show with a gaggle of youngsters from the area also gearing up for their moment in the spotlight.
East Sheen youngster Linnea Bengtsson and Epsom schoolgirl Millie Maguire will also take to the court at the North Greenwich venue.
And while itching to get started, Putney High School pupil Bengtsson believes there’ll be more than a few nerves when she steps out onto court for the first time later this month.
“I am really looking forward to it but before I go on court I am going to be so scared,” said Bengtsson.
“Last week I watched Katy Perry at the O2 and I was thinking about being on court there – it’s really exciting.”
For more information on becoming a Barclays Ball Kid at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London visit www.barclaysballkids.com