Kate joins Federer at Wimbledon to meet ‘amazingly professional’ ball boys and girls


he Princess of Wales has been joined by eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer for a behind-the-scenes look at the work of the “amazingly professional” ball boys and girls who are a key part of the tennis tournament.

They were guests at a training session for some of the young hopefuls aiming to be chosen for the around 250 ball boy and girl roles during the championships running from July 3-16 in south-west London.

Kate, who is patron of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club which hosts the Grand Slam event, said: “Wimbledon is renowned for its amazingly professional ball boys and ball girls, the amount of work it takes, it’s incredible to see it behind the scenes…

“With all the discipline and everything you’ve learnt, you’ll be able to take it into so many other parts of your life – things like confidence, and that feeling of pride with being on any of the courts is such a big moment.”


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I used to be a ball kid in Basel when I was nine or 10 and, as I have always said, once a ball kid always a ball kid

Federer said: “This is proper practice. I’m really impressed at how much effort and training goes into being a ball kid during the championships.

“I used to be a ball kid in Basel when I was nine or 10 and, as I have always said, once a ball kid always a ball kid.”

The meeting is included in a short YouTube video filmed at the All England Club and its indoor tennis centre earlier this month.


Kate can be seen taking part in a doubles rally with the 20-time men’s singles Grand Slam winner on No 3 Court before watching the children in a training session.

Each year, around 1,000 local schoolchildren aged 13 to 15 take part in training sessions at the club’s Community Tennis Centre in Raynes Park.

Those who eventually get to take to the courts at Wimbledon have completed several months regimented training sessions learning key skills such as how to signal ball changes, rolling balls up to the net and the correct techniques to bounce the balls to the tennis players.

The final group of boys and girls will include approximately 170 new participants, with around 80 returning from previous years.

Sarah Goldson, manager of the ball boys and girls squad, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness and Roger Federer to Wimbledon to see and experience what it takes to be a BBG at Wimbledon.

“We’re really proud of the young people who dedicate so much time and effort to their role which plays an integral part in delivering a successful championships.”


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