From Windsor to Wimbledon for young tennis star Karola Bejemaru

Karola Bejenaru
Karola Bejenaru

Orangefield High School pupil Karola Bejenaru has become the first Ulster-based player for more than 40 years to make it into Junior Wimbledon.

The 16 year-old Windsor player, who is originally from Romania, will play the third seed from Hungary, in first round qualifying later in the week..

She becomes the first locally based player to take part in the tournament since Louise Tuff back in the early 70s.

Karola faced an anxious wait to see if she would make it after originally being listed as ninth alternate (reserve).

She moved up to fifth on the list and travelled to London yesterday to sign in with hopes of achieving her objective resting on other reserves or main draw entrants pulling out due to injury or not attending the London venue in person.

She is now ranked just inside the world’s top 150 after collecting more points by reaching the final of a doubles tournament in Germany a week ago.

This time last year she was ranked around 400 but since then she has made a meteoric rise up the world list since winning the ITF tournament on her home courts at Windsor 11 months ago.

However her recent progress was halted temporarily when she had to pull out of another tournament due to a hand injury.

Karola is a two-time Ulster senior champion but recently surrendered her crown when she lost to Donaghadee’s Lucy Octace in the final at the Boat Club earlier this month.