Hollie set for biggest test of her tennis career

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MILTON Keynes tennis starlet Hollie Davies has been globetrotting this year as she bids to make a name for herself – and now she has the perfect platform to do just that after being called up for this month’s European Youth Olympic Festival.

The 15-year-old earned one of two girls’ spots on Great Britain’s four-strong tennis squad and now heads to Trabzon to strut her stuff against the best Europe has to offer, with 3000 athletes from 48 countries descending on Turkey.

But the Oakgrove School pupil is no stranger to the jet-setting lifestyle, competing in tournaments in both Romania and Malta back in April, reaching the semi-finals of the latter.

And as she prepares to pull on the Great Britain colours in her biggest competition to date, Davies is relieved to have these past experiences under her belt to help steady the nerves.

“I’m delighted to have earned selection on the Great British team for Turkey – it just tops what’s been a good season so far,” said Davies, one of 64 athletes on Team GB.

“I got a letter back in March saying that I was in consideration for a spot, and that just spurred me on to try and prove that I was good enough for the team and luckily I managed it.

“I went on a few trips to Romania and Malta earlier this year with the Great Britain team so I know what it’s all about – but this is by far the biggest competition of my career so far.

“Going away is different to competing at home in England because you’re part of a group and I’m pleased I have these experiences with me ahead of Turkey as it makes settling in easier.

“So hopefully that will help me settle in, and I know the other girl on the team Sabrina Federici, so fingers crossed I will find my feet quickly and put up some good results.”

While fellow British teenager Laura Robson was again leaving her mark on this year’s Wimbledon competition with her first Grand Slam match win, Davies was licking her wounds after crashing out of the Aegon Junior International in Roehampton in the final 16.

But she remains confident she can follow in the footsteps of 17-year-old Robson as she prepares to make her first tentative steps on the Olympic ladder.

“I’m really excited about Turkey and to be involved in an Olympic event is great and should set me up well for the future,” she added.

“Meeting all the different athletes from all the different sports will be exciting, and my dream is to be a professional player so this is just the first step.

“Hopefully this is just the start for me and I can have a good result in Turkey that will set me up well for the future.”