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LTA WEBSITE - 27/10/2006

Girls aimining high down under

A group of British women will leave for three $25,000 ITF events in Australia on Sunday hoping to end 2006 on a high note.

They will line up in back-to-back tournaments in Mount Gambier, Port Pirie and Nuriootpa in the south-east state of Victoria.

British No.2 Mel South and coach Lucie Ahl will be joined by Rebecca Llewellyn, Georgie Stoop, Natasha Khan, Naomi Cavaday, Emily Webley-Smith and LTA fitness trainer Damien Roberts.

South and Llewellyn begin their trip by playing a $50,000 event in Shanghai, China, which gets under way on 30 October.

South’s coach, former British women’s No.1 Ahl, says the tour is an opportunity for the players to boost their rankings before the end of the year.

"The girls need to be really focused for this trip as it’s a fantastic chance for them to gets some points and push their rankings up with the aim of starting 2007 playing bigger events,” Ahl said.

“They have to realise that a lot of girls are tired at this time of the year, so if they can really dig deep and work hard they will get rewarded.

“It’s a great chance for them to also get used to dealing with the difficulties of playing in Australia, for example, the flight out there, jet lag and the mixed weather conditions, so if and when they get to play at the Australian Open they’ll know what to expect.

“We’ve decided to bring Damien the fitness trainer with us because I still believe that physically we are still not up to scratch compared to the rest of the world.

“The girls are going to have to get used to getting pushed and working even harder and doing much more on and off the court, even when they are out on the road.

“They all have high aims for themselves in tennis and the only way to achieve them is to work and act like the players they want to aspire to, if not even harder in order to catch up with them.

“I'm confident that if the girls go out with the right attitude they will come back closer to achieving the goals they’ve set."

The first event in Mount Gambier begins on 6 November


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