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Aleksandra Topalović dreams of being a future tennis champion. And with her track record this ambitious 10-year-old is showing the potential that could take her all the way to the top. London-born Aleks has the highest rating in her age group, Green 1, and tops the Middlesex County leadership board, having won ten tournaments.
Aleks’s parents recognised her talents early on. At five, she started playing at Virgin Active in Acton. Her mother recalls that at the time the coach was just trying to get her to hit the ball over the net. She has come a long way since then, having played 39 tournaments to date, and counting. Her sisters and parents are her greatest supporters, but also help to keep her feet firmly on the ground. Her schedule is gruelling. She trains with three coaches five times a week, plus two hours of special fitness classes, and competes in tournaments most weekends. “It’s very intense”, she says, “but I really enjoy it.” Next May the determined athlete takes her KS2 SATS and is under no illusions, “If I want to achieve, then I’ve got to work hard.”
Britić: What good luck rituals do you have before a match?
A: If I find an eye lash my mum and I blow it three times each and whoever gets it on their chosen finger makes a wish. The wish is always for me to win the tournament!
Britić: Have you met any famous tennis players?
A: I met Novak Đoković at a football match and he signed my shirt. I saw Ana Ivanović at Wimbledon and gave her a note and drawing I had done especially for her. At the O2 ATP tennis tournament my mum and I talked with Nenad Zimonjić after he won his match and he gave me his wrist band and the signed lens of the camera used to film the match.
Britić: Who inspires you?
A: Novak Đoković is a big inspiration to me because he has managed to beat some of the best tennis stars in the world. He has that Serbian confidence and always wants to win.
Britić: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened during a tennis match?
A: I was playing a match and once I’d hit the ball I fell down, my racket flying to the other side of the court. I quickly got up and ran to get my racket. As I picked it up I went to hit the ball and my racket slipped out of my hand. As the racket was slipping, the ball was returned by the other player and somehow fell onto my racket and went over the net. I then picked up the racket and hit the next shot and won the point. This was one of the clumsiest but funniest moments.
Britić: When is your Slava?
A: May 6th, Đurđevdan.
Britić: What do you like doing other than tennis?
A: Reading, shopping and going to sleepovers at my sisters’.
Remember the name: Aleksandra Topalović. She wants to get to the top and we wish her every success in her efforts.