Capital tennis player Alexandra Hunter has returned from injury and cannot wait to head off to the Commonwealth Youth Games next month.
Hunter, 17, is currently in Greece getting matches under her belt in the under-18 International Tennis Federation Championship following a spell on the sidelines. She flies to the Bahamas with the rest of the Scotland squad on July 14.
The sixth Commonwealth Youth Games take place in Nassau from July 17 to 23 and 41 athletes have been selected to represent Team Scotland.
The athletes, aged between 15 and 18, will compete in a number of sports including athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling, judo, swimming and tennis.
It has been a frustrating time for George Watson’s College pupil Hunter who suffered an injury to her left foot back in October last year.
Since then she has been working patiently on her rehabilitation and in recent times she has regained full fitness by working hard in the gym and on the court.
A British under-18 doubles champion, Hunter will play singles in the Bahamas and also team up with 17-year-old Hamish Stewart from Glasgow in the mixed doubles.
“Getting injured is part of sport, but it was tough to take at the time especially with big events like the Commonwealth Youth Games on the horizon,” Hunter said.
“I came back in around February time, but the injury had not quite settled down fully. However, I used the extra time to work on things in the gym and such like and it has been good lately being back out their hitting balls again.
“As people always say, nothing beats playing under match conditions though because tennis can test you both physically and mentally so this trip to Greece will help me play against some good opponents and get ready for the test to come out in the Bahamas.”
Earlier this month Hunter starred as George Watson’s girls won the Scottish Inter-Schools’ tennis Cup for the first time in 20 years.
Along with Millie Wood, Sofia Antipatis and Maisie Wood they defeated Beaconhurst in the semi-final and went on to beat ESMS in the final at Craiglockhart.
And, as she mentioned, the tournament in Greece will allow her to come up against some tough opposition from around Europe as she continues to rediscover her match play mentality.
When Hunter was younger she played a lot of hockey at school alongside her tennis, but when she reached 13 or 14 she knew she had to make a decision regarding which one to take forward due to ever-increasing time commitments.
“I really enjoyed hockey and being part of a team, but there was something about tennis that just had me hooked,” Hunter, who lists the highlight of her career to date as representing Great Britain at the 2015 International Club Championships, explained.
“When you go out on the court to play singles you know that your destiny is in your own hands and you have to scrap for each point and stay composed and I like that aspect to it.
“I have been working with coach David Brewer who is the director of the Tennis Academy at Merchiston Castle School for a while now and I find him really good to work with.
“When I got injured I was actually playing in Bahrain in very hot weather so that should also help me to adjust to the Bahamas because it will be warm out there while I am looking forward to being part of a multi-sport event and chatting to team-mates about their own sports.”