Duchess of Cambridge has ‘a lot of respect’ for tennis, says Norfolk star Alfie Hewett
PUBLISHED: 17:05 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 31 October 2017
Norfolk’s tennis star Alfie Hewett met the Duchess of Cambridge as she paid a visit to the headquarters of British tennis.
The tennis-loving Duchess told a coach she is trying to teach Prince George the game but he “only wants to whack the ball” when she visited the national tennis centre in London today.
Kate, who is a Lawn Tennis Association patron, chatted with British number one Johanna Konta and watched some on-court sessions.
She helped test the delighted youngsters’ agility and reaction in a hand-tagging exercise which looked like they were giving each other high-fives from different directions.
She also retrieved low balls from the ground with her racket before hitting a button which served balls to wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, who is from Cantley, at 87mph.
Mr Hewett, a two-time Wimbledon doubles champion who also won two silver medals at the Rio Paralympics, said he was pleased to see Kate supporting grassroots tennis including the children’s and disability versions of the sport.
Stating that she “loves” the game, he said: “She did not have to come here while she was pregnant.
“She obviously has a lot going on and a lot of respect for the sport, for this community and tennis.”
Miss Konta, who is ranked at number nine in the world and got to this year’s Wimbledon semi-final, said: “All I know is that the Duchess has been very vocal about her passion for tennis.
“I think that is only a positive thing for us.
“I know everyone, including myself, are excited to have her here and touching base with all the great programmes the LTA are championing.”
Kate was also given a briefing on the trends and developments in the sport, asking a top-level panel including Fed Cup captain and former British number one Anne Keothavong about the popular types of courts to play on and if it makes a difference to have indoor clay courts.
She also met youngsters who are taking part in the Coach Core apprenticeship scheme.
It was designed by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to take people aged 16-24 with limited opportunities and train them to be sports coaches and positive role models.