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Numbers rise at Elena Baltacha Tennis Academy

Elena Baltacha

Elena Baltacha

Archant

NINO Severino revealed that over 60 new girls will be joining Elena Baltacha’s Academy of Tennis (EBAT) on Monday.

Baltacha’s coach revealed the news as the Suffolk Closed Tennis Championships saw a noticeable increase in female participation, especially at Mini-Tennis level.

The Academy currently has 14 members, including nationally-ranked Russian-born Sofiya Khalyaeva, but that figure will rise dramatically to 75 following a successful recruitment drive around seven schools in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

Severino is delighted with the Academy’s pulling power and was also proud of the Baltacha Academy’s participation at this week’s tournament at Ipswich Sports Club.

“We had the highest percentage of girls for an academy of our’s size enter the Suffolk Closed Championship,” said Severino.

“It was a really great showing from the girls, considering many are from deprived areas and considering the arguments that say that parents from such areas don’t support their children.

“They always make sure that their kids go to every tournament and the girls are reaping the rewards of their experiences.”

Baltacha is currently taking time away from the tennis court and will undergo ankle surgery before deciding whether or not to make a return to the ladies’ circuit.

The 28-year-old has already mooted that her return may not be so cut and dry, especially as the academy grows at such a pace. Coaching may be the way forward for the Ukranian-born Brit, who will be expanding her workforce to cope with the number of new recruits.

Ipswich Town take on Leeds United, at Elland Road, in a top-six Championship match tomorrow afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the match.

David McGoldrick believes Ipswich Town have what it takes to stay in the Championship top six spots.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will always be football’s ultimate pragmatist.

Ipswich Town take on Championship table-toppers Leeds United, at Elland Road, on Saturday.

FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One

Norwich City 0

Ipswich Town 5

Ipswich Town Ladies claimed the first bragging rights of the season with a resounding 5-0 victory over local rivals Norwich City at Norwich United’s Plantation Park last night, writes Kieren Standley

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers says no-one at Portman Road is getting carried away by the start to the season the Blues have made – but they are ‘enjoying the ride’.

Ipswich Town sit fifth in the Championship table, with five wins from their first seven games – so why are some fans still so negative?

Ipswich Town Ladies face old rivals Norwich City tonight in the first East Anglian derby of the season.

Defender Adam Webster made his return from injury and Ben Morris notched a brace as Ipswich Town Under 23s put five past Nottingham Forest last night.

My mates who support other teams just don’t understand. They glance at the results, and the Championship table, and send me texts saying things like: “I bet you’re thrilled with your team.”

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