Off court with Georgie Stoop

15th August 2006

Eighteen-year-old Georgie Stoop began 2006 at No.856 in the WTA rankings, but consistent results on the women's tour have helped her rise to No.14 in the British women’s rankings and over 300 places to No.526 in this week's WTA list. She is the top seed at the U18 Junior National Championships in Bournemouth this week.

Where do you train and who’s your coach?
“I’m based at the Queen’s Club and I’m coached by James Trotman. He also coaches Naomi Cavaday.”

Where do you live?
“When I’m in London I live with a family in Raynes Park, near Wimbledon, but I was brought up in Cambridgeshire, which is where my family live.”

How and when were you introduced to the game?
“I started playing when I was four. My mum was a tennis coach and I have two older brothers and an older sister so I used to play with them.”

When did you turn pro?
“I left school when I was 16 to go full-time.”

Describe your playing style.
“I’d say I’m an all-court player. I try to use my forehand as much as possible and to get forward when I can.”

What’s your favourite surface?
“Grass or fast indoor hard courts. Definitely not clay! I’m happier on a faster surface.”

Give yourself a mark out of 10 for your tennis year so far.
“I’d say seven in terms of results and seven for development as a player. I feel like I’ve improved a lot this year.”

What would winning the Junior National Championships this week mean to you?
“I’d love to win here this week and that’s my aim but it’s very tough. There are so many good juniors coming through. I’ll have to play my best tennis to win here and clay isn’t my favourite surface either so it’s going to be difficult.”

I’d give myself seven out of 10 in terms of results this year and seven for development as a player. I feel like I’ve improved a lot this year.

Georgie Stoop

What are the main differences between junior and senior tennis?
“The mental side of the game. If you’re playing a junior who’s playing really well against you and you’re losing, you know they’re probably going to break down at some point. And if you’re, say, a set and 2-0 up against a junior you usually go on to win the match. But in senior tennis matches aren’t over until you’re shaking hands. You really have to earn every victory because you’re playing for a lot more – ranking points and money. Juniors and seniors are completely different.”

What are your goals for the year?
“A few weeks ago my goal was to break into the WTA top 500 by the end of the summer. I’ve just about done that so now I’ll try to play more $25,000 events and aim to get inside the top 400 by the end of the year.”

What are your goals in the game?
“Right now, my main goal is to play in the singles at Wimbledon. That’s always been one of my dreams and it keeps me going during the tough times. Ultimately, I want to break into the top 100 in the world and then the top 10.”

You’ve risen over 300 places in the WTA rankings since the start of the year. What are the reasons behind that?
“I think the main thing is that I’ve realised how much I want to play tennis. My coach, James, who I started working with last November, has also helped me lots so my improvement is down to him too. It’s also great having Naomi on the squad. We have a friendly rivalry and we push each other along.”

What’s your proudest moment in tennis?
“Playing at Junior Wimbledon for the first time when I was 15.”

Favourite venue you’ve played at?
“Frinton because I reached the final of a $10,000 international senior event there in July this year.”

What’s your best shot?
“My forehand.”

If you could have one wish granted to improve one aspect of your game what would it be?
“To make my backhand a bit more solid – but there are loads of things I’d like to improve!”

Most embarrassing moment on court?
“There are so many, but not that I’m going to tell you about!”

Who were your tennis idols growing up?
“I didn’t really have any idols, but my favourite player is Roger Federer. I love watching him play.”

If you could play doubles with anyone in the world who would it be?
“Roger Federer. I wouldn’t have to do anything – he’d just hit winner after winner!”