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Joanna Minnis keen for big moment

The final cast list for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals might be assembled late but Holywood's Joanna Minnis is itching to end a seven-month wait for her starring role at the O2.

The 16-year-old is set to be one of just 30 Barclays Ball Kids rubbing shoulders with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in London at the glamorous eight-day finale to the tennis season.

Minnis, who attends Bloomfield Collegiate School, beat off stiff competition from thousands of youngsters across the UK to earn the right to star at the O2 from November 4 through to November 11.

Having been handpicked by six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker back in April, she spent last week at a training camp at the Hampshire Health and Racquet Club and can't wait to get going.

"It went really well over the week," she said. "It was quite tough because there was a lot of intense work, especially when you are in the centre as you have to make sure you are always alert and knowing where the balls are so it's quite tough on you.

"It is tougher than I thought it would be though, I was sweating quite a lot all the time and always needing to keep rehydrating myself. I drank so many bottles of water during the week.

"You have to know how to roll the ball accurately and learn about the players, because they have certain ways of playing the game. It's quite scary how close it is now, It's scary but it will be an amazing experience for me."

For more information about the Barclays Ball Kids programme, go to or visit the Barclays Ball Kids Facebook page.

Belfast Telegraph


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