Ellie Robertson makes US Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Championships debut
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Seventeen-year-old Ellie Robertson, currently world No.7 after finishing runner-up at the ITF’s Junior European Junior Camp in August, reached an important step in her career by qualifying for and competing in the US Open Junior Wheelchair Tennis Championships.
Sixteen players, aged between 14 and 18, took to the court in the first ever junior wheelchair tournament to take place at a Grand Slam between 8-10 September.
Ellie, who resides in Bargeddie, currently trains at Scotstoun Tennis Centre, Glasgow Gorbals and Gleneagles. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her dogs for walks, playing wheelchair basketball and spending time with her family.
Once she qualified, Ellie trained daily in the gym and on the court as well as completing tennis coaching sessions five-times a week with her coach, Kevin Simpson. In preparing for her Junior Grand Slam debut, she says she had no pre-match superstitions, she just took some time to herself to read over any mental or match notes she’d prepared.
Ellie, who has looked up to the likes of 18-time Grand Slam winner Gordon Reid and Scottish tennis icon Andy Murray for as long as she can remember, was looking to emulate their success on court and make her country proud when she played her opening match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre on Thursday, 8 September.
In the Singles Wheelchair quarter-final, she missed out to Yuma Takamuro 3-6, 4-6. Ellie then partnered with Yuma for the Junior Wheelchair Doubles semi-final where they fell short to top seeds Jade Moreira and Maylee Phelps. Despite the outcome, she said her goal was to further her career as a tennis player.
Robertson said: “I feel honoured to get the opportunity to compete at the first ever Junior Grand Slam at the US Open. I have a lot of support behind me which helps me to prepare both mentally and physically. I’m excited to get the US Open experience and I really hope it will give me a glimpse of my future as I hope to qualify for the Paralympics one day.”
Ellie is trained by Kevin Simpson, former Beijing Paralympian and World Team Cup player, who is the first Scottish wheelchair tennis Paralympian from Scotstoun Tennis Centre. He hopes that Ellie can follow in his and Gordon Reid’s steps to become the third.
Simpson said: “This year, I’m hoping to grow the game of wheelchair tennis in Scotland and help Ellie further her career. Moving from juniors to women’s is a massive step and I’d like to make the transition as smooth as possible for her, to help her reach her full potential.”
Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland Chief Executive, added: “Ellie is a wonderful ambassador for the wheelchair game, and we are really proud of her and Kevin’s achievements at the US Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships. I look forward to watching her grow and inspire other players to follow in her footsteps.”