Ipswich tennis starlet Justice Hall receives Great Britain call-up
12:16 15 March 2016
One of the late Elena Baltacha’s protégés, Ipswich’s Justice Hall, is determined to follow in her idol’s footsteps as she develops into one of Great Britain’s brightest young prospects.
The St Matthew’s CofE Primary School pupil, 11, has been selected by her country at under-12 level to play with two other GB youngsters of the same age in a tournament in Belgium, against the hosts, and Holland, later this month.
The youngster was spotted as a precocious six-year-old by the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT), during a school visit from the academy, and was quickly taken under their wing.
Five years on and Justice, who now trains out of Ipswich Sports Club, is ranked in the country’s top-20 at under-12 level and will have moved up to the top-10 come the end of the season (March 18).
As a result of her progression, Justice’s workload is set to increase, as will the amount of time she spends in foreign countries, playing at different tournaments around the world.
Her father, Leon, who is keen to raise his daughter’s profile and secure some form of sponsorship, said: “It’s going really well for Justice at the moment and she is shooting really high and getting lots of attention.
“She flies out to Belgium for five days later this month and is really looking forward to the whole experience, the travelling, the camaraderie.
“Her programme over the next three years, starting from the summer, will increase dramatically and she will be playing in a lot of tournaments abroad which require quite a lot of funding.”
Justice was recently selected to attend her third National Player Camp at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. Just 16 girls from around the country were chosen by the Lawn Tennis Association Talent Team for a five-day residential.
Leon, who explained that Justice was approaching her first season using harder, lower density balls, added: “Probably in the last six to eight months Justice has progressed in terms of her technique and more hours are being put into her training.
“It’s a learning curve for her at the minute and while she is excited about what is happening, we try to keep her grounded when a lot of people are singing her praises.
“She is doing all the right things at the minute and is a very level-headed girl.”