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Brave Naomi holds her own against reigning champ

PUBLISHED: 11:42 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 12 August 2010

LONDON - JUNE 24:  Naomi Cavaday of Great Britain plays a forehand during the women's singles round one match against Venus Williams of United States on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

LONDON - JUNE 24: Naomi Cavaday of Great Britain plays a forehand during the women's singles round one match against Venus Williams of United States on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 24, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

A TEENAGE tennis hopeful has impressed her fans by battling reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams. Former Bromley High School pupil Naomi Cavaday, 19, from Chislehurst, received a warm ovation after losing 7-6 6-1 to Williams on Centre Court, Wimble

A TEENAGE tennis hopeful has impressed her fans by battling reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.

Former Bromley High School pupil Naomi Cavaday, 19, from Chislehurst, received a warm ovation after losing 7-6 6-1 to Williams on Centre Court, Wimbledon, on Tuesday.

The teen, who trains at Bromley Tennis Academy (BTA) in Orpington, was making her third consecutive appearance at the tournament.

Clint Harris, BTA director, has watched Miss Cavaday's skills blossom since she was a five-years-old playing short tennis at Parklangley Club, Beckenham.

He said: "It seems quite surreal talking to you and watching Naomi playing on Centre Court.

"She always had a natural explosiveness and power to her game and she has maintained that throughout her life. There were a couple of wobbles in Venus' game when Naomi could have broken her - things could have changed drastically.

"It's just inspirational. Being a Bromley girl she is an inspiration to people in the area."

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranks Miss Cavaday as 196 out of 1,300 players worldwide.

Last year at Wimbledon she was only beaten by Martina Hingis at match point, but played in Court Two rather than the 15,000 capacity Centre Court.

Mr Harris added: "I would say this was her best performance so far because of the pressure she was under.

"That court can either be the most magical or lonely place. Playing a world champion unafraid will really boost her confidence."

Miss Cavaday's family have a strong tennis background.

As a youth the teenager looked up to her brother Nick, 21, who often trained with British hopeful Andy Murray and recently finished a tennis scholarship in the USA.

Dad Nigel Cavaday, 58, said: "I think there she always had an expectation she would follow his achievements.

"I'm absolutely delighted with her performance. Naomi grew up watching Hingis and Williams. She was relishing the thought of pitting her skills against them.

"She proved to herself that she can beat them no problem with more practice."

Miss Cavaday finished her match on Tuesday with a smile and yesterday went on to compete in the doubles tournament.

After Wimbledon she is due to spend a week training before going on to compete in further WTA tournaments with prizes of up to £75,000.

For a full match report, see Times Sport.

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