Hampshire Talented Athlete Profiles
Ella Taylor - Tennis Rising Star
HTAS athlete, Ella Taylor from the New Forest is one of the country's most promising female tennis talents.
At the 2011 Under 16 National Championships she reached the semi-finals in both singles and doubles, whilst stepping up to the Under 18’s National Championships she defeated the defending National Champion to reach the quarter finals. She is the current Under 16 Scottish Open Championship and rounded off the year with an Under 18 national ranking of 8.
We caught up with Ella to find out about her ambitions and challenges as well as her training and preparations.
SHIOW: Tell us more about your achievements. What are your most notable achievements to date?
ET: Other than my national championship performances, I won my first ladies tournament in the Saint Paul Open in France whilst travelling with a French team. During this trip I also had the privilege to play Natalie Tauziat (1998 Womens Wimbledon finalist and former World Number 3), whilst unsurprisingly I lost, it was a great match and has given me a glimpse of what I need to achieve to become a professional tennis player.
SHIOW: What had been your targets for 2011, and how did you get on?
ET: My target this year was to achieve an International Ranking. I am pleased with my ranking of 575 as this is based on just 4 tournaments, whereas a total of 6 tournaments are used to calculate rankings. I therefore will be able to improve on my current ranking if I perform well in my next two International tournaments.
SHIOW: Looking ahead a little, what are your targets for the next three years?
ET: My plan is to get a scholarship at an American University. This will enable me to access world class coaching and facilities in the USA and at the same time will allow me to continue to train, compete and further my education.
SHIOW: What would you count as your biggest challenge faced to date – and why?
ET: My biggest challenge has been financial. In order to continue to develop my game I have needed to compete internationally and this has been difficult for my parents to fund. I receive no funding from the Lawn Tennis Association and so I have only competed in a limited number of tournaments.
SHIOW: If you had to identify one favourite sporting moment, either as a participant or spectator, what would it be and why?
ET: Watching Dominika Cibulkova play at Wimbledon. She is my favourite ladies tennis player, she represents the sort of player I strive to be, she chases every ball, never gives up and is a great athlete.
SHIOW: What are your top tips for aspiring athletes?
ET: Always work hard, keep fighting and never give up.
SHIOW: Who is your Sporting Hero – and why?
ET: Roger Federer, for his complete professionalism, skill and dedication to tennis which has enabled him to remain at the top of the game for so long.
SHIOW: Who has most influenced your success – and why?
ET: For the first time in my tennis career I have a professional coaching team supporting me at the Soto Tennis Academy, where I am now training. Whilst the whole team are motivated and inspirational, in tennis you also need a high level of self motivation in order to succeed.
SHIOW: And finally, how would you describe yourself in just ten words?
ET: Determined, motivated, focused, independent, athletic, strong, committed, dedicated, organised, hardworking.
Image courtesy of James Jordan Photography
Sports Development Officer (Performance)