Tennis teenagers train with Wimbledon winner

24 May 2010

Team Bath Tennis Academy players had the opportunity train with former Wimbledon champion Wes Moodie, who finalised his preparations for the French Open at the University of Bath.

South African Moodie is ranked number nine in the world in doubles and won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon with Stephen Huss in 2005.

He was a finalist in the men’s doubles at the French Open at Roland Garros last year with Dick Norman. The pair are seeded four for this year’s French Open, with the men’s doubles getting underway on Wednesday.

Moodie trained at the University of Bath as part of Team Bath’s partnership with MCTA. Head coach Dave Sammel, a fellow South African, who coached Moodie earlier in his career.

Moodie, whose career has also included a singles tournament victory at the Japan Open in 2005 said: “It’s very impressive here. It’s got all the facilities you need. It’s great for the players who are 16, 17 and 18.

“Winning a singles title was very rewarding. Winning Wimbledon was like winning the jackpot with a National Lottery ticket. It was unreal, an amazing experience.

“I’m not really thinking about winning a grand slam right now. You win grand slam titles by playing well and winning match by match.”

Dave Sammel said it was a great opportunity for Team Bath Tennis Academy players to learn from such a good player as Moodie. “Wes has got the right kind of personality to influence the kids in the right way,” he said. “They can learn from him very quickly.”

Among the players to train with Moodie during his stay in Bath was 17-year-old Toby Martin, who combines training at the Team Bath Tennis Academy with his studies at Ralph Allen School.

Martin, who is ranked at three nationally at under-18s, got the opportunity to take on Moodie in a singles set.

He said: “It’s pretty special to get the chance to play against and train with someone who’s in the top-10 I the world. I was a little nervous at first, but once I got going I was fine. It wasn’t easy though. You can learn so much from someone like Wes.”

The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its Team Bath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.

Members of the media who require further information can contact the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the Team Bath website.

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