Emily’s ATP Experience We were so proud to see our Top Squad player Emily as ball girl in the recent ATP tour. What an amazing experience. She’s written about it below and shared some of her pictures. “This year I was given the once in a lifetime experience of being a ball girl at the O2 for the ATP tour finals. It was the last year the final being held in London, so I am very grateful I got to be a part of such a fantastic event before it moves away. There were 24 people in the ball kids team, and we all stayed in a hotel right next to the O2, along with the players, coaches, presenters, and press. When we arrived at the hotel on the first Saturday, we had to be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 4 hours. This was actually much more terrifying than being on court with the players! When we finally got to go to the O2, the first player I saw was Novak Djokovic. He was sitting on a bench on court and singing very off key to the music playing in the arena. I realised then that maybe these people weren’t so scary. I was right. They were very friendly to us all, giving us a wave and letting us take pictures with them. Rafa asked us how we were, Tsitsipas gave me a high five, and Melo (a doubles player) thanked us all on his Instagram story! I also got pictures with Thiem and Medvedev, and a big thumbs up from my favourite doubles pair, Krawietz and Mies. Being on court was much less intimidating than I thought it would be. Without a crowd it felt like a lot less pressure, which actually made it more enjoyable. My first singles match was Thiem vs Tsitsipas, and it was just so unbelievably cool having the players so close to you and playing such outstanding tennis that you forget about everyone watching at home and just enjoy it. I will always remember that first shift because I caught Tsitsipas’s first serve (that’s not a brag… I promise…). My favourite singles match personally would have to be either Thiem vs Nadal or the final. Thiem vs Nadal was an outstanding match and very high intensity. It was without a doubt the most tiring shift for me, and I can remember just collapsing into a beanbag once we got backstage. The final was obviously very special for me too. I was on court when Medvedev won, and so I got to stay on court whilst the presentation and speeches went ahead. We were covered in confetti (I kept some of it of course) and it felt crazy! I’d seen so many confetti shots from the previous years and it was just unbelievable being a meter away from the winner while he had his photo taken. I really couldn’t have asked for a better week. I got to meet the best 8 singles players in the world and made some amazing friends along the way. It was truly the best week of my life. I’ve been completely inspired, and I can’t wait to get back to Latika to improve my own performance and tell everyone about the fantastic week I had, Emily” Well done Emily! November 28, 2020
COVID-19 Update
1 July 2020 UPDATE Rules for playing tennis are further relaxed on July 1st. Our group sessions can be booked online. For more information contact info@latika.co.uk Please read LTA instructions in this document.
15 May 2020 UPDATE To all Latika Members, PLEASE READ ALL INFORMATION THOROUGHLY. Firstly, we would like to thank you for your patience during the lockdown. Despite the strange circumstances that we are currently living in we hope that you are all staying well. The Government has indicated that as of Wednesday 13 May outdoor sport could resume and happily tennis is one of the first sports that can resume, albeit under restricted conditions. Since Monday 11 May we have been working on what practical steps that we will need to undertake to ensure that we keep our members safe. Suffice to say we must still all be mindful of the fact that this killer virus has not gone away, and we must protect ourselves and others for a long time to come. Whilst it is essential that we all continue to strictly observe the social distancing and hygiene requirements, we are pleased to advise you that we are able to offer some tennis at Latika from Thursday 14 May. THIS WILL BE IN THE FORM OF 1:1 COACHING ONLY and needs to be booked directly with Matt Reid. Also, in accordance with the Government/LTA guidelines, tennis can be played in Singles format with one other person from outside your household with social distancing measures being observed at all times, or in Doubles format entirely with members from your own household. Group coaching, internal tournaments and league fixtures all remained cancelled for the time being. The clubhouse will remain closed and there will be no toilet facility so if you are coming to the courts please use the toilet before you leave home. The LTA have issued clear guidelines for venues, coaches and players. Please also carefully read the LTA Guidance for Players. It is advised that you print it off and keep it with you as a reminder when you are at the club. NOTE
  • You must book a time to play. Please book your court on our Clubspark booking page and allow 10 – 15 minutes for any change over of use of the courts.
  • You will only be able to use Court 1 or Court 3 in order to ensure correct Social Distancing. Matt will use courts 4 or 5.
  • It will be your responsibility to sanitize your hands and all equipment before entering and when leaving the court. Please wipe the lock down and any areas of the gate you touch each time you enter and leave the court. Lock the gate if there is no one else around.
  • Where possible, bring your own tennis equipment and balls. If you are playing singles with someone not in your household, please mark your tennis balls differently 2 each, so that you only handle 2 balls. Balls must not be shared away from family groups. If you happen to hit a ball out of court – please get it immediately to avoid cross contamination
  • Please be considerate, do not monopolise the court. No more than one session a day for a maximum of I hour.
  • All of the well publicised Government social distancing and hygiene requirements which must be fully observed in and around the Club’s grounds and parking areas at all times – this is for your own and everyone else’s safety.
  • Car parking – please leave a space between each car.
  • We have left two brooms on court 2 to sweep debris away if needed. Players should wipe the broom down before and after use with an antiseptic wipe and clean hands after use.
  • If you are last to leave, please lock the gates and wipe down the locks and gates with your sanitizing wipes.
We have to prepare paperwork for the Council which will take a short time, and which will be displayed around the courts as soon as we can. All activities at the Club are undertaken entirely at your own risk. We are constantly receiving guidance from the professional bodies and will update you when any further changes need to be made. With all the above requirements being complied with, do enjoy your tennis even if the playing formats and social interactions will necessarily be quite limited at the present time. Latika will be back to full operation as soon as we can. Remember – safety first! Denise Walker Chair Latika Junior Tennis Club May 15, 2020
LTA Berkshire – Volunteer of the Year Award This year’s LTA Berkshire Volunteer of the Year award has been presented to Latika’s Vladimir Blanusa for his work as the Membership Secretary and overall support for the club. It is another recognition of the great work and effort put into the running of our club. Vladimir said: “It is a great pleasure and privilege to be helping Latika provide affordable coaching for so many children and give them an opportunity to start playing tennis in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I hope that my award will be an encouragement for more parents to give up some of their time in support of the club. Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for me.” December 16, 2018
Marcus Willis, former Latika player in the second round of Wimbledon Where were you on Monday 27 June 2016? Hopefully in front of your TV watching Marcus Willis play Ricardo Berankis on Court 17 at Wimbledon. Tomorrow he will be playing against Roger Federer on the Wimbledon Centre Court. Marcus became a member of Latika in 1999 at the age of around 9. He was an extremely talented Junior. At 14 he was comfortably beating some of our 16 and 17 year old players. He made the decision to play tennis professionally and it has been a long and difficult road. In his post-match interviews he talked about almost quitting tennis a few years ago and moving to Philadelphia to coach full time. Thank goodness he changed his mind. Latika now has a claim to fame that we have played our part in a historic Wimbledon match. Several ex Latika members and Berkshire people were in the crowd on Court 17 to cheer him on, including Sarah and Victoria Sauven, Matthew Walker, and also Keith Carder from Berkshire Tennis. Well done Marcus – Latika is very proud of you indeed! June 28, 2016
LTA National Centre Visit Latika organised a visit to the LTA’s National Tennis Centre at Roehampton on Sunday 22 May. It was a great opportunity for the group of our 11+ members to visit the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. They saw a range of world-class tennis courts and training facilities. After short walk around Matt organised 2 hours long training session. Girls and boys enjoyed playing on the new surface and everybody was asking when we can come back. We will try to organise another visit and make sure younger members can take part in these trips once they get to the yellow ball level of play. Thanks to Denise and Matt for organising and managing this visit as it was a great inspiration for all young players from Latika. June 10, 2016
Latika Best Club 2016, Matt Best Coach 2016 – Awarded by Berkshire LTA latika_award1_small We are delighted to announce that at annual general meeting Berkshire LTA awarded Latika with the Best Club 2016 award. Latika Head coach Matt Reid won the Best Coach 2016 award. Pictured from left to right: Ara Martyrossian – Latika coach for 13 years and the first coach of the current coach, Matt Reid, Chantal Dunikowski, Committee Member and Assistant Coach, Denise Walker, Latika Chair and Matt Reid, Latika Head Coach. December 1, 2016
Latika Car Sticker Latika sticker If you want to help Latika to spread the word about the club we have car stickers available in the Clubhouse. You can ask at the desk or during the week ask Emma Newman. Please display in your car to advertise our club. The price is £1. You can buy as many as you like. It is easy to apply. Peel off white backing and place the blue side on the inside window of your vehicle.  Smooth into place. Be proud member of Latika Junior Tennis Club! November 22, 2014
Presentation Evening 2019 To finish the 2019 competitions season and look back to another successful year at Latika we are holding our Annual Awards evening. Many trophies, certificates and medals will be awarded to players who took part in internal competitions and represented Latika in regional leagues competitions. Food is provided, please bring your own drinks. There will be a raffle and entertainment. You must purchase a ticket if you wish to attend – £10 Adults £8 child (Yr 6 and below). Everyone welcome. Tickets sell out fast so please purchase your tickets early on the Saturday desk. For further information please see the Committee member on duty on Saturday or email Denis chair@latika.co.uk September 20, 2019
Oceans Day 2019 [layerslider id=”39″] A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. Latika took part in Oceans Day events at the beginning of June. Many games were played on the court, children had an opportunity to throw wet sponges at coaches. Most of the visitors and players enjoyed our charitable cake sale. Special thanks to Lewis and Lomondais families who brought home made cakes. Thanks to everyone who brought cakes, donated to the charity in any way possible. We have collected £100 and Matt matched it with his £100 so we made £200 donation to the Marine Conservation Society. Thanks to Matt and his coaching team for organising such a fun and charitable event. June 1, 2019
Presentation Evening 2018 Our main social event of the year, the Presentation Evening, was organised on Saturday, 6th October 2018. Many trophies, certificates and medals were awarded. As usual we had a raffle, entertainment and delicious food. It was a night to celebrate success in the last 12 months with Latika. We are proud of all our members who were playing and competing with passion in all conditions. It was a real joy seeing so many enthusiastic young tennis players on the night. [layerslider id=”31″] October 20, 2018
Surprise Visit –  Marcus Willis at Latika [layerslider id=”29″] On Saturday, January 27th, our members had a chance to talk to and play tennis with Marcus Willis, former Latika player, now professional tennis player famous for his great run through the qualifications and first round of Wimbledon 2016. He played Roger Federer in the second round on the Central Court. He lost the match but won the ‘shot of the tournament’ by lobbing Roger in an exciting exchange. Another sensation followed at Wimbledon 2017 when he and his partner won against Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert who were the defending doubles champions. He was very happy to share his experiences from Wimbledon and other professional tournaments and to be reunited with one of his first coaches, Matt Reid. Despite the cold weather many of our players enjoyed his company and tried to win a point or two. His name is on Latika U14 and U16 trophies – another motive for our youngsters to compete and put their name next to his. February 21, 2018
Great British Tennis Day 2017 Following the success of the events in the last three years we had a great response to open day organised as part of the LTA’s nationwide Great British Tennis Weekend 2017 on July 27th. Free tennis coaching attracted over 100 children to play on the day. It was one of the most successful events of this kind in Berkshire. We are delighted that many of children who tried playing became our new members and are regular players every Saturday. August 12, 2017
Annual Barbecue and Family Tennis 2017 [layerslider id=”23″] Over 50 members of Latika with their families enjoyed a summer day at Latika courts, playing tennis and eating BBQ food on Sunday, June 25th. It was a fun family day full of voleys, dropshots, burgers, cakes and fresh strawberries. The morning tournament was orange ball, parent and child doubles while afternoon one was yellow ball, American tennis doubles. The weather was perfect for tennis. Congratulations to the winners: Aleks and Vladimir Blanusa (child/parent) and Bethany Dark and Connor Carr (American tennis). A big thank you to everyone who took part and especially to Ruth and Chantal for organising the food, Quentin for manning the BBQ and Ryan for running the event. Hope to see you next year at the traditional Latika summer BBQ. July 5, 2017
Latika New Clubhouse has Arrived IMG_4098_s [KGVID]http://juniors.latika.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/club3.mp4[/KGVID] [KGVID]http://juniors.latika.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/club4.mp4[/KGVID]
If you missed Christmas Fancy Dress [layerslider id=”35″]
Maxim Wallace received the “Barclays Ball Kid of the Year Award”
Maxim Wallace with Boris Becker
Maxim Wallace has been a member of Latika JTC since 2002. This year, he was selected to be one of the 30 Barclays Ball Kids for the 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. Being one of the final squad of 30 kids selected nationally amongst thousands of keen young tennis players is a fantastic achievement. As the only initiative like it in the UK, the Barclays Ball Kids programme has been backed by many of the sport’s biggest names and is recognised as a unique opportunity for kids to develop their fitness, endurance, communications skills, interpersonal skills, discipline and confidence, whilst interacting with world famous sports personalities and international media. Maxim says: “Being part of the 2013 Barclays Ball Kids Squad has been an unbelievable experience. I had the time of my life and will never forget it. The training week in Southampton was a lot of fun, but was also very demanding. We were on court from 8am till 6pm every day, either playing tennis, learning ball kids’ skills or attending media sessions such as TV interviews or photo-shoots. All ball kids were very strong tennis players, some of them ranked No 1 at National Level. Getting a chance to play tennis with such strong players really helped me to improve my own tennis skills. We even got a chance to play with Boris Becker!” On Sunday 4 November, Maxim arrived at the O2 for the 10 days of the ATP World Tour Finals. As Captain of Team No 1, he was the first Ball Kid to run onto Center Court for the opening of the Finals, in a packed O2 Arena.
Maxim says: “The atmosphere in the O2 was electric and the first few matches definitely nerve racking. My position at the net meant that I had the responsibility to transfer all the balls to the player serving the next point. Of course balls can only be passed around the outside of the court, and with only 6 balls on court at one time, you constantly have to think 2 points ahead and know exactly where each ball is. Doubles tie-breaks are particularly demanding as the ball transfer happens extremely fast. Synchronisation between all ball kids on court is also essential, as well as responding to the players as quickly as possible. You cannot afford to lose your concentration at any point, especially when you are court with players like Nadal, Federer or Djokovic, and the match is broadcast on live television!” Spending 10 days with the top 8 players in the world was an amazing experience. Off court, players are not all what you would expect them to be.Maxim and RogerMaxim says: “Nadal is incredibly humble and enjoyed talking to us about anything and everything, similarly Federer shows a lot of respect for his fans and makes sure he signs as many autographs as he can. Del Potro joined us in a ball kid training session which was great fun. But the nicest one of all, in my opinion, was Novak Djokovic who was not only extremely friendly but also down to earth, and even spent time telling us how he manages to pull off his legendary splits.” To top it all off, on Finals night, just before Djokovic and Nadal walked on court, Maxim was presented the Barclays Ball Kid of the Year Award by 3 times Wimbledon Champion Boris Becker in recognition for his exemplary behaviour on and off court, as well as his athletic abilities and his leadership skills. What an amazing achievement. Well done Maxim! November, 2013

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