Young aces on their way to the top

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Three up-and-coming young tennis players from Dacorum have been selected for the Lawn Tennis Association’s Aegon FutureStars programme.

Larissa Gungah, 13, and nine-year-old Joel Pierleoni, who both train at Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis & Squash Racket Club, were picked for the scheme alongside Kiana Mokhtari, 10, who trains at Langley Tennis Club.

The emerging young stars have earned their place on the programme following a successful year on court and will now receive added support from the LTA.

Leon Smith, LTA head of men’s and women’s tennis, said: “We are committed to identifying and supporting our most talented players, and the Aegon FutureStars programme is central to this process for young players who are starting out in the game.

“It’s a long journey for any player hoping to make an impact on the game but we hope that with the right support, these players are given the best possible chance of reaching their full potential.”

British number two Heather Watson added: “The Aegon FutureStars programme identifies the most talented young players in the country so it’s great that these players have been chosen to join the squad.

“I hope they use this support to help them achieve their dream of playing at the highest level.”