I was just three years old when I first picked up a racquet. My dad also won a Paralympic Bronze medal at the 1984 New York games, his was for 100m track. When he retired he took up tennis as a hobby, got married and I came along. When I was three years old, Dad took me out to a tournament in Israel so I could see him play. I ended up copying his swings by the side of the court while he was playing. One of the other players in the tournament saw me do this and gave me a small racquet and started hand feeding me balls. My dad said I was hitting it ‘as sweet as a nut’ apparently!
When I was five, Dad took me to a junior camp in Nottingham run by the Tennis Foundation, it's somewhere where disabled kids can go along and have a go at tennis and meet new people at the same time. It was there where I was 'talent spotted' and asked to come along to more camps to see how I developed. I was finally asked to join their performance program at the age of eleven and I competed in my first ever World Cup at the ripe old age of twelve! From then on I've worked hard on my game, and believe me it hasn't been easy. I’ve climbed up the rankings throughout the years to go on to qualify for two Paralympic games, win two Paralympic Bronze medals and play nine World Cups of which I have one Gold, three Silvers and two Bronze medals from. During 2014 I won all four Grand Slam tournaments with my doubles partner Yui Kamiji and in 2015 I won my first ever Grand Slam singles title at US Open.
The next day the tournament contacted the local press and news channel, the next thing I knew they were filming me hit balls with my dad and interviewing him about my new found 'talent'. I was all over the news and in all of the local papers for being the youngest person in a wheelchair to play tennis. The tournament even gave me my own trophy to take home, I still have it now and am very proud of my first trophy!
As soon as we got home Dad found the nearest tennis centre to me, Billesley tennis centre in Birmingham, and signed me up. We played every Monday and I loved it! I got to know the staff members there. They were so great and even gave me free court time so I could practice more.