Tennis twins compete internationally
Letchworth s tennis twins, Anneka and Sophie Watts, have been competing internationally. The girls competed in the under-14 Scottish Indoor Open Championships in Aberdeen. Although Anneka, who was under the weather with a heavy cold, went out in the early
Letchworth's tennis twins, Anneka and Sophie Watts, have been competing internationally.
The girls competed in the under-14 Scottish Indoor Open Championships in Aberdeen.
Although Anneka, who was under the weather with a heavy cold, went out in the early rounds, Sophie managed to progress through to the semi finals.
Joanna Henderson, the Scottish number one and eventual winner, proved too strong though and Sophie had to be content with third place.
A week later, the girls and their dad drove over to the TC Heiveld club in Mechelen, Belgium, to take part in a national Krokus Cup tournament.
It soon became clear that they had nothing to fear from the Belgians.
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After having swept aside one local opponent, Anneka became the third victim of her sister as Sophie won through to the final.
Highly-rated local girl Charlotte Swanns provided the opposition and in front of a large crowd, Sophie and Charlotte played a fantastic, tense, three setter. It was Sophie who held her nerve to win 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
The next stage in the girls' development is for them to start playing in Tennis Europe events to build up a European ranking.
Plans are well advanced for them to compete in a number of tournaments this summer, starting with an event in Opalenica, Poland, later this month.
The girls are making great progress under the guidance of their coach, Steve Shea, who often travels to support them at tournaments.
Although they are still only 12, the girls are now having to compete at the under-14 level.
By the end of 2006, when they became too old to play under-12, Sophie was just outside the top 10 in the national rankings and Anneka was on the verge of entering the top 30.
Already, at under-14, they are both well established in the top 100 of the national rankings - Sophie at 34 and Anneka at 65.
In the recent six-monthly LTA review, both girls' ratings were increased (Anneka now plays as a 7.2 and Sophie as a 7.1).
They train with the Letchworth performance squads three days a week and also access the New Breed programme one morning a week.