Shadowing Serena

Tshepo Kehimile

Ekua’s Eureka moment

For 15-year-old Ekua Youri, the sight of her father taking her elder brother for tennis practice matches was all it took.

Just a little baby at the time, Ekua could however not wait to swing her own tennis racket.

Now the teenager has set her eyes on following in the footsteps of her idol, the 38-year-old and 23 Grand Slam singles winner Serena Williams.

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The American legend has won the most singles by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all-time behind Margaret Court.

Youri’s dream began to take shape when she was invited for trials in Spain at Barcelona Tennis Academy where she impressed the talent scouts.

“That was my biggest breakthrough. I was offered a partial bursary to do General Certificate Secondary Education (GCSE) at Wesley Hall College, a homeschooling programme which allows me to train well without compromising my education in the process,” she said.

“I watched my dad take my brother to tennis courts everyday and I long believed that tennis is my destiny,” she said.

Some of the young girl’s notable achievements include finishing second on the doubles at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament which was held in Mauritius in 2019.

“I was also crowned a Champion at Catalonia tournament in Spain last year September and a Champion at Grade 3 Under 18 tournament in the United Kingdom (UK) back in December 2019 just to mention a few,” Youri told Voice Sport.

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“My role model has always been Serena because she’s very strong and determined on the courts. I’d love to see myself representing Botswana at Wimbledon just like her,” she said.

The youngster said just like her idol, she’d also like to have a shot at a Grand Slam.

“I believe I can do it with time and a great deal of hardwork,”she said.

The youngster told Voice Sport that her game has improved tremendously since arriving in Spain.

“I’m more independent and aggressive and that is a positive thing,” she said.

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