A 13-year-old student from Long Eaton School has served an ace by winning three titles at a national wheelchair-tennis tournament.
Abbie Breakwell has only been playing tennis for little over a year, and had to face opponents much older than her in the U18 girls’ category at the tournament, which was held in Gloucester.
But after many successes already in her brief career, she was seeded number one -- and she proved why by landing the singles, doubles and green-ball doubles titles, even though she had only just recovered from injury.
In the singles, Abbie had to dig deep because she found herself one set and two games down in the semi-finals. But she pulled it back to clinch victory in a tie-break, 10-4, which set up a repeat of her national school games final of 2016 against her own doubles partner, Megan Bradley.
Abbie, who trains at Loughborough University, Nottingham Tennis Centre and Grantham Tennis Club, triumphed 4-0, 4-2 to be crowned champion and cap a fantastic year in which she remained undefeated.
“I was so relieved and happy to have won,” she said. “I felt really nervous, and it took me a while to settle. But wheelchair-tennis is a hard sport, and my matches were tough.”
Abbie and Megan have also remained unbeaten throughout the year in doubles, and they were thrilled and amazed to continue that record in Gloucester.
Abbie was then invited to play in the green-ball doubles because the competition was short of players. It meant she had to partner a player she had never played with before and also take on U18 boys, many of whom had represented their countries. But after making it through the rounds, they won a tight final, 4-0, 2-4, 11-9, again after a tie-break.
“This win was a little bit more special because we were not expected to win against the boys, and it finished my year off brilliantly,” said Abbie.
“I would like to thank my parents, all my coaches and the Tennis Foundation for their support. Without them, none of this would have been possible. I am now looking forward to the 2017 season.”
Abbie’s delighted mum, Sarah Breakwell, said: “We are so very proud of Abbie and what she has achieved. Playing wheelchair-tennis has given her a real confidence boost, and she has also made some wonderful friendships.”