For one ten-year-old Berkhamsted boy, the Wimbledon Championship fortnight is particularly exciting – as he has his sights set on one day appearing at the world famous venue.
“ I hope to play there one day in the men’s singles,“ says ace youngster Joel Pierleoni who is currently rated third in his age group in the UK.
Since first picking up a racket at the age of four, Joel showed potential, according to his dad Marco. “He was soon beating boys twice his age and more importantly just loved it,” he said.
And this same enthusiasm continues today as Joel trains with the Berkhamsted Elite Tennis Academy and travels around the country at weekends playing in tournaments.
“I just love competing,” he said. “Last weekend our Hertfordshire U10s team came second in the national tennis finals in Bolton and it was incredible.”
A pupil at Berkhamsted Prep School, Joel also has to fit his studies around his sport but his mum Lorraine says the school has been incredibly supportive – even when he had to miss school to spend three day at the National Training Programme at the Lawn Tennis Association Centre in Roehampton.
He was joined by six other boys who had been selected as Aegon Future Stars.
“The training was very tough but also great fun,” said Joel “It was exciting to see people like Laura Robson, James Ward and Tim Henman there.
“I also saw Judy Murray but unfortunately not Andy!”