Seventeen-year old Lisa Phillips had the opportunity of a lifetime when internationally-renowned tennis coach Louis Cayer travelled to Sussex to spend time coaching top Sussex players.
As the No1-ranked player in Sussex for women and the highest-rated junior girl in Sussex, Felpham ace Phillips was the only female to have the privilege of this coaching help.
Cayer has worked with the British Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams and, before joining the LTA, had previously coached and captained the Canadian Davis Cup team for 12 years.
Cayer also worked with seven top 100 singles players and is renowned for his expertise in doubles, having worked with several No1 players and more than 20 inside the ATP top 100.
Phillips has an extremely attacking backhand slice and Cayer made small adjustments to the shot to improve it even more. A video was taken to monitor Phillips’ improvements before and after the changes and this will be monitored.
Cayer advised Phillips her backhand slice shot was so good, comparing her to Steffi Graf, who won 22 Grand Slam titles, that she should only use the backhand slice and not to use a backhand drive. Phillips does favour her slice during a match but has also developed quite an effective backhand drive.
Phillips said: “To have had coaching from Louis was amazing. I love my backhand slice so to be told to always use it when playing a backhand is really great. Louis has helped to improve my backhand even more and this will make it even better.
“There is nothing more satisfying in tennis than when your shots skim the net and your opponent can’t get to the ball. To have been likened to Steffi Graf by such a highly-regarded coach is such a huge compliment.”
Phillips will be representing Sussex ladies in the County Cup at Billesley and she is delighted she has gained enough ranking points to be invited to play at the British Tour Masters at Nottingham.
Phillips has reached No6 on the British Tour leaderboard and easily secures a place in the Masters – last year she just had enough points to play in it. The Masters is a tough senior competition and will attract world-ranked players.
Phillips is looking for sponsorship to help with some of her costs, especially coaching costs, associated with an individual sport. If you are able to help please see www.lisaphillips.co.uk