Amie Hunt thrilled to meet Serena Williams and WTA stars at Tennis on the Thames

Posted 29th Jun

Amie Hunt experienced a day she will remember for the rest of her life when she mingled with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and other top WTA stars in London, writes Marc Beyeler.

The EBAT youngster and mum Helen were special guests at the WTA’s Tennis on the Thames event on Thursday as part of the growing relationship between the governing body and the Elena Baltacha Foundation which continues to inspire more youngsters to take up tennis.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames

And at Thursday night’s pre-Wimbledon players’ party, Amie rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the sport such as Petra Kvitova, twice a champion at SW19, Kristina Mladenovic, Elina Svitolina, British No 1 and Foundation Ambassador Jo Konta and Naomi Broady, a long-time friend and supporter of the Foundation.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Petra Kvitova

The love and support for Bally’s legacy was clear to see as Williams and her fellow players were so generous with their time, chatting with Amie on the purple carpet, posing for photographs and signing autographs on her giant pink tennis ball. British star Heather Watson walked Amie down the purple carpet as the evening’s festivities got under way, and the youngster had tears of joy in her eyes as she came to face to face with her heroes.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames, walking down the purple carpet with Heather Watson, Foundation chairman Nino Severino and Naomi Broady. Picture: Getty Images

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Serena Williams

The party was the culmination of Tennis on the Thames, a public celebration of the empowerment of women. It took place all day in the Bernie Spain Gardens by the Oxo Tower on the South Bank, and Amie enjoyed the honour of taking part in a number of activities.

Foundation patron Judy Murray ran a fantastic Miss Hits session which Amie enjoyed immensely. The youngster also relished the opportunity to play doubles with rising British star Katie Swan, and there were encounters with former world No 1 Monica Seles, and American star Coco Vandeweghe.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Foundation patron Judy Murray

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Coco Vandeweghe

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames, playing doubles with Katie Swan

Additional attractions included a WTA exhibition marking female achievements, and a display of the trophies awarded to the WTA year-end No 1. Reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens, Victoria Azarenka and Sam Stosur also made appearances and interacted with fans throughout the day, before Amie and the rest of the players took temporary leave to change into their evening wear.    

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames

A glamorous evening of mixing with the elite of women’s tennis followed, including a spell on the dance floor with some of the players. Amie met Judy once again as well as Foundation friend Kathy Martin, Senior Director, Athlete Assistance at the WTA, who last week paid a special visited to the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. Amie posed for photos and gathered more autographs from the players.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames


Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Kathy Martin, Senior Director, Athlete Assistance at the WTA

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Heather Watson

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames with Heather Watson, Naomi Broady, Anett Kontaveit and Natalia Vikhlyantseva. Picture: Getty Images

Amie had been selected by the Foundation to attend the event in recognition of her attitude and character on court, and her dedicated approach to training. She is already able to compete at a national level and has been motivated immensely by training with Foundation patron Judy and Ambassador Anne Keothavong.

And there is no doubt that after yesterday’s thrilling experience, Amie will be even more inspired to push herself to greater heights.

Elena Baltacha Foundation youngster Amie Hunt at WTA Tennis on the Thames

Picture credits: Getty Images and Helen Hunt


by Lindsay Farish-Carradice