If you are named after a famous female tennis player it should come as no surprise that you can dominate your rivals on court.
The 12-year old Gabriella Broadfoot (TuksTennis) won the under-14 girls title at the recent South African Junior Championships.
Her mom, Hendra, said she named her daughter after the Argentine player, Gabriella Sabatini. For those who might not know, Sabatini was one of the top female players in the late eighties and early nineties. At the time there were many male admirers who viewed her as one of the most beautiful players to grace the courts.
None of this really matters to Broadfoot. She has only one goal and that is to make tennis history of her own. That is one of the reasons she has no qualms about playing against older and more experienced players. Earlier this year she won an under-16 Tournament in Pretoria. She has also been lucky enough to gain international experience over the last few years by playing abroad regularly.
Broadfoot is quick to explain that the only way she can keep improving is to play against older, stronger and more experienced players. If everything goes according to plan she hopes to start playing against under-18 players when she turns 13 at the end of the year.
It only takes a few minutes of listening to her speaking about tennis to realize that she is truly passionate about the game. During the conversation she mentions that the Spanish legend, Rafael Nadal, is one of her role models.
“What I admire most about Nadal is his never say die attitude. He will go down fighting to the last point every time he plays and he is such a disciplined player. These are qualities I admire and strive towards,” said Broadfoot who started playing tennis at the age of four.
Broadfoot ascribes her fitness as being her best quality as a tennis player.
“I love chasing after balls on the court. The longer the rally the more I enjoy myself. I aim to try and sap my rival’s energy with each point we play.”
Prince Madema (TuksTennis Coach) said one of the reasons Broadfoot is currently winning more matches than she loses is because she can be somewhat “cocky” when on court.
“It something I admire in a player. It is important that a player believes in their own abilities when playing a match, if they don’t it can be difficult to win. But it is important to always realize that there is fine balance. If a player gets over confident it could lead to them falling into a comfort zone and get lazy.
“Gabriella should always realize that she is only as good as the last game she played. The fact that she is a national champion will count for nothing the next time she plays a match.”