Tennis star Anne Keothavong opens new courts on Hackney Downs

Stoke Newington tennis ace Anne Keothavong put heads in a spin when she officially opened new courts on Hackney Downs on Tuesday morning.

The British number three, whose family home is Amhurst Road, gave tips to about 25 children from Hackney City Tennis Clubs as part of the launch of the new facilities.

Hackney Downs now has five tennis courts, a new pavilion, a multi use games area and a resurfaced basketball court following a �1million makeover.

Two new floodlit tennis courts were funded by the Lawn Tennis Association and Sport England.

Anne, 28, said on Twitter that the visit was “sentimental”.

“Spent a lot of time as a kid playing on the old courts there,” she said.

Mossbourne Academy pupil Marley Silcott, 11, who is ranked tenth in the UK in the 11s and under category, said: “I really like the new courts, the surface is really smooth and the floodlights mean we can practice outside even when it’s dark.”

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Hackney Council’s cabinet member for health, social care and culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, said: “It’s essential that we work to provide the best facilities in order for our talented young sportspeople to train and progress in their chosen activities, as well as inspiring others to enjoy sport and the outdoors.”