Hucknall tennis star Freya Christie will have benefitted from the experience of being part of Team GB’s Fed Cup squad, believes mum Carol.
The 18-year-old was part of a five-strong squad selected by Judy Murray leading up to the ties against South Africa and Georgia over the weekend but was not selected for singles or doubles matches.
Those honours went to the experienced Heather Watson, Katie Swan, Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith and so Christie, after her first involvement with the seniors, went on to take part in the Perth Tennis International in Australia.
She posted to her followers on social media website Twitter: “Was great to be a part of the GB Fed Cup team! Unfortunately I’m unable to stay but good luck girls! Bring it home.”
The team’s push for a World Group promotion began well with wins over South Africa and Georgia but ultimately ended in play-off defeat to Belgium, however, with Swan and Watson suffering three-set losses.
Christie has represented Great Britain at junior level before and appeared at home in the environment.
The team’s high spirits captured on video as Christie and Swan performed their own version of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air at an initiation ceremony.
Her mum Carol said: “Anything like that she enjoys. She loves music so I’m sure it would have been her idea.”
And added: “She loved being out there. To be able to train with Heather Watson was a great experience for her. She’s aspiring to get to the same top level and, although she did have to cancel a $75,000 prize event in Australia to join the team in Israel, she thought she would learn a lot from it for the future.
“As a youngster she had represented Great Britain at team events - summer, winter cups - but not at the women’s. Now she’s 18 it’s a transition between junior and women’s tour. She enjoyed the experience. She was there for a few days to train then back to Australia to make the second week in Perth.”
Christie bowed out of the Perth tournament in the last 32 singles main draw to Risa Ozaki of Japan 3-6, 6-3, 5-7. Christie and doubles partner Lisa Whybourn lost in the qualifying draw to Indonesia pair Jessy Rompies and Beatrice Gumulya 3-6, 4-6.
Her performances on the court have seen her ranking improve over the past 12 months.
“She has done extremely well,” said Carol. She was injured at the beginning of last year then when she got back in to the tournaments I think Wimbledon juniors was the first event in June. She has moved up the rankings from 800 to top 400, now 395.
“She’s strong, almost six-foot, of the right size and stature to hit balls hard. She enjoys hitting them hard, good on the ground strokes and I’m sure she’ll do well.”
- The family are seeking sponsorship opportunities for Freya. All those interested can contact her mum Carol on 07967 439295.