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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Picture credits: Getty Images and Helen Hunt