3:00pm Friday 30th November 2012
By Sam McGregor
YOUNG Bobby Hornby has a dream to play tennis on centre court at Wimbledon and his coach believes his wish may come true.
The Brookside School pupil has already won 46 medals and cups, including the under-8s Oxfordshire County Cup this summer – and he’s only six.
Bobby will also play in the national final of the Powder Byrne Junior Trophy competition at Bisham Abbey National Sports Academy on Saturday, December 8.
His mother Alison, of Market End Way, Bicester, said: “All of a sudden in the last six months he has just dominated tennis in the eight and under category.
“He just keeps winning competitions, it’s amazing.
“Bob will go to a competition and when he gets back he’ll say ‘let’s go and play at the courts at Caversfield’. He just loves it.”
At aged just five years and two months Bobby became the youngest child in the country to reach red level one standard in mini-tennis.
Red level one status is awarded to children who have played 76 matches, with a minimum of 20 wins.
The first player to score 10 points wins, but they have to be a clear two points ahead of their opponent.
So dedicated is the youngster, he plays tennis six days a week.
Recently, in a bid to give him experience playing against new opponents, he has travelled to Milton Keynes and Warwickshire for matches.
Ms Hornby, 42, said: “He goes on the court and you think he’s never going to win, but he does.
“In one competition he was 9-2 down and he came back to win 11-9 – he’s amazing.
Bobby trains at North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club, near Kidlington, four times a week under its Ace Scheme, a club charity which funds lessons for talented youngsters.
When asked what his dream is, Roger Federer-fan Bobby, also a member of Bicester Tennis Club, said: “I want to be the world number one and play at Wimbledon Centre Court.”
The head coach at the North Oxford club, Chris Hampton, said: “He’s incredible, really focused.
“He has a really good chance of doing well with tennis.
“We have seen a massive improvement this year and he really sets the levels.
“He’s training in his age group but he is miles better than the best players.
“At the moment he’s thrashing everyone.
“He’s won 46 tournaments this year and has a 77-match unbroken run.
“I have been a coach for 20 years and he’s a different kettle of fish to anyone I’ve known in my life.”
Bobby showed talent for the game aged just two when he started hitting the ball back and forth with grandfather David Horner.
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