Hemsby tennis star Katherine Barnes flying high in national rankings

Katherine Barnes

Katherine Barnes - Credit: Archant

Hemsby tennis player Katherine Barnes is flying high in the LTA British Tennis Tour rankings - and is now aiming to take her game to the next level.

The promising 17-year-old has had a season to remember at domestic level, winning a couple of tournaments on a circuit designed to help up-and-coming players in their quest to become professional players.

She has come out on top in events at Woking and Worthing - having won twice in 2018 - and also reached the final of the recent tournament at Felixstowe before having to retire with a knee injury.

The impressive displays have helped the youngster to the top of tour rankings and with her injury not thought to be serious she has plenty more chances to add more titles to her collection this year, whilst hopefully playing at a higher level too.

"I am really pleased with the way it has been going," said Katherine. "It was good to get the two wins and I thought I had a good chance to make it three at Felixstowe but unfortunately I hurt my left knee in one of my early games. I stayed out there and made it through but it caught up with me in the final and when I was a set and 4-2 down I had to call it a day. I am still awaiting the result of the MRI scan but the knee is feeling better all the time I am sure I will be back playing again soon.

"My ambition is to become a successful professional but to stand a chance of doing that you need to be playing at a higher level than I am at the moment and that is my target, to get in the tournaments that would give me a chance to make progress and get a world ranking.

"The trouble is that travelling abroad to play in tournaments is expensive and you really need a sponsor to take the next step. I am confident in my ability - it's about getting the chance to show what I can do."

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Katherine recently had a taste of hitting the ball on the Continent, with a recent training session at the Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium. A meeting with the former world No 1 gave the youngster another big boost.

"She was a really nice person, so humble and down to earth," said Katherine.

If anyone would like to sponsor Katherine they can contact her at dunstable1@hotmail.com