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Wallace set for star-studded ATP Tour finals

Published: 3 Nov 2013 12:300 comments

THE FINAL cast list for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals might be assembled late but Bracknell’s Maxim Wallace is itching to end a seven-month wait for his starring role at the O2.

Having a ball: Maxim Wallace outside the 02, where the ATP Finals start on Monday.

The 15-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.

Wallace, who plays at Latika Junior Tennis Club, beat off stiff competition from thousands of youngsters across the UK to earn the right to star at the O2 from November 4-11.

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

“The training camp was a lot of fun, a lot of effort though, so I got more and more tired as things went on but it was so enjoyable at the same time,” he said.

“We did a lot of drills and a lot of match play. We were getting used to what we need to do and getting an idea of what the tournament will be like.

“We also got to play tennis too which was good fun. I am not amazing but I got to play people who are so I got to see what that sort of level of tennis is like.

“The whole experience is really encouraging and it makes me want to get better. It has been harder than I thought though.

“I thought I would be at the back but being at the net is very tiring and I was sweating so much.”

Wallace will also share the court with 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro at the O2 as eight singles players as well as eight doubles pairings compete in front of 20,000 spectators each day.

And Wallace, who attends Reading School, is determined to make the most of his moment in the spotlight with the world’s best players at the O2.

“It definitely brings it all home that it is not long now until we are doing it and I just can’t wait to get going, I am so excited for it,” he added.

“There are a few nerves because of the number of people who watch but I am excited too. My parents and sister are coming down too so they are excited.”

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

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