I love all sports. But tennis has always had the edge. I started when I was 6 and I’m not done yet. I’m addicted and my parents are cool with it.
When I was 9, I got my first Lancashire tracksuit and I have had a new one each year to date. I finished my education at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and had a place at Loughborough University to Study Sport and Exercise Science with a tennis scholarship – which I deferred.
I took one year out to concentrate on playing full time tennis. I gained my first professional singles world ranking in less than a year – in Edinburgh which would become my most successful venue winning a consecutive hat-trick of titles. I decided to stop calling it a gap year after a decade!
I was fortunate enough to travel the world playing on the professional circuit from the freezing conditions in Canada to the scorching heat of Australia and all time lines and less glamorous venues in between. I lived out of a suitcase, I slept in airports and I earned my stripes.
My drive, perseverance and increased ranking led to my personal highlights- competing at Wimbledon qualifying in both the singles and doubles, representing England in the Four Nations but also the people I met and experiences I had along the way. I have played tennis in 6 continents, in full stadiums and in front of no-one. I’ve arrived in foreign lands when my racquets haven’t and I’ve sprinted for balls, trains and planes.