Tennis starlet Martina Paladini Jennings has been tipped for great things after recent success on the Junior LTA circuit.
Martina (pictured left), who currently attends Ruislip High School, has been playing tennis for eight years and currently plays fives times a week at Uxbridge LTC under the guidance of coach Tim Blackman and hitting partner Tom Gait.
Fitting training around school and her homework is a tricky business, but her mother, Angelica, has described her daughter as a girl who “really enjoys her tennis, always pushes herself and is 100% committed to doing well”.
Last week all the hard work paid off when Martina won her first under 14s regional tournament at the Yonex White Horse Open in Oxfordshire.
Navigating a field of 32 of the finest young tennis players in the area, Martina dropped just one set on her way to the final where she romped to victory against Shanice Olivia Ufuoma Marshall-Sefia 6-2 6-0.
Both parents and daughter her clearly delighted with the victory. Just four months previously Martina had lost to the very same opponent in Rickmansworth, being narrowly edged out on a champions tie-break in three sets.
The 13 year old cites her tennis heroes are Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, and has said it is her ambition to emulate all three of them by winning Wimbledon, cheekily declaring to her mother that 2020 will be the year that she does just that!
She certainly has the name for the job. “Martina” is a name that has led to success in Wimbledon's past, and who's to say that Paladini Jennings won't one day be a name to add alongside those of Navratilova and Hingis on the list of Wimbledon Champions.
For now though she just wants to train hard rise to the top of the junior circuit in the UK.
And it is non-stop for her from here. This Saturday she has her second successive final in a week with another regional tournament in Radlett, before heading to the U14 Junior Nationals in Nottingham next week to test herself against the best in the country for the first time.