Georgina Bartholomew takes aim for more Great Britain caps
• 3 MINUTE READ
Georgina Bartholomew represented Great Britain in the recent Young Seniors Team Championships in Portugal. She writes about her experience of the competition, and her unusual path to playing for Great Britain.
“My route to representing GB at tennis is an unusual one, having stopped playing tennis in 2000 and taking up Clay Pigeon Shooting.
Shooting is a fabulous sport, and I realised I could go far. In 2004 I made the Ladies England Shooting Team in a discipline called ‘English Sporting’ and represented England at the Home International’s a couple of times. 2005 saw my representing the Ladies British Team in a discipline called FITASC and travelled the world – Prague, Cyprus, France, San Antonio – Texas, representing GB. I reached No. 2 in the world – an achievement of which I am extremely proud.
Returning to tennis in 2017 my goals were to make the England Seniors Tennis team & the Great Britain tennis teams. I didn’t have a deadline in mind but was very aware of the work needed to achieve this.
2022 saw me achieving one of my goals – namely representing England in the Women’s 45s at the 4 Nations. My first experience was helped no end by a fabulous captain - aka Captain Gill Brown & a strong team mate in Mili Shah.
Following the 4 Nations, I was asked to be a ‘non-travelling reserve’ for the GB Women’s 45s team – an honour to be asked, but never thought I would go.
However, unbeknownst to me the wild card pulled out and Candida Reid-Hamilton was her replacement. Disaster struck when my poor team mate Gill broke her wrist, meaning I was off to Portugal.
Nervous to be travelling at such late notice, I immediately relaxed by staying in the same place as my Captain, Eilidh Smith. Eilidh included me and I played two doubles and one singles, which was such a great introduction to playing for Great Britain.
The level of tennis was so strong at the World Championships with the Europeans very obviously being used to playing in the heat and on the Red Clay.
Our campaign started with relatively easy wins against Hungary & Turkey meaning we met the USA in the quarter finals. A tough match with a very high standard of tennis came down to the match tie-break in the deciding doubles - Eilidh & Mili played so well, meaning we beat the USA and were through to the semi-finals!
Frustratingly, after such a tough match, we came up against a fresh & strong German team and lost so our final match was a play-off for Bronze against Italy. Mili played her singles first and had a tough game, but won in two sets. Eilidh then played her singles, played strongly and won in two sets.
A match played with a fantastic atmosphere with an equally awesome result – a bronze for Great Britain! Coming home with a bronze from my first GB cap was just such a great feeling.
Once you wear the tracksuit, and put on the kit, you immediately feel part of a team. I felt incredibly proud and patriotic to wear the GB Kit. I loved every minute of being out there and now know what to expect for (hopefully) the next time. It makes playing all the tournaments very worthwhile.”