An Exeter schoolboy has competed in the British Winter Tennis Season, winning the coveted AEGON Winter Masters Trophy in the 12 and under category. Eleven-year-old Robert Leck, who is currently ranked number one in his category, trains at the Exeter University’s Sports Park and receives dedicated coaching from Will McNally, the university’s director of tennis.
Robert has now been selected to be part of the Great Britain squad to play in the Open Super 12 tournament in Auray, France. He will also attend clay court International Training Camp and compete in the Nike Junior Tour Event at the Barcelona Total Tennis Academy alongside Britain’s other top juniors.
The young tennis star first picked up a racket at the age of three and his skills and ability for the game is supported by expert coaching. McNally is a top-level Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Performance Coach and has been coaching high ranking young players for over 15 years.
On Robert’s recent ascent up the national rankings McNally said: “He is a dedicated and exceptionally hard-working athlete and fully deserves to be ranked number one nationally in the 12-and-under category. Junior tennis in Britain is extremely competitive and the challenge for us now is to continue Robert’s development and hold on to that number one position.”
A demanding training schedule sees Robert on court for at least 11 hours each week, with additional fitness sessions on top of this. While this may seem a huge commitment for someone so young, McNally remains aware of the pressures on Robert. He said: “Many promising sportspeople burn out at an early age due to the commitment required to be the best. However, Robert loves playing the game and we will do our best to ensure that continues.”
The young tennis player has already represented Great Britain at junior international level. On his international debut he was unbeaten in a match against Belgium in December in which he won all his matches in both the singles and doubles.
Robert attends St Peter’s School in Exeter, where they are supportive of his tennis commitments. The Exeter youngster dreams of playing at Wimbledon, and his progress to date suggests that with expert coaching from McNally, he is defiantly heading in the right direction.
In the near future, while eating our strawberries and cream, we may well see this exceptionally talented young tennis player head to Wimbledon and onto Centre Court.