Lot-et-Garonne: Olivia Duval, Fumeloise ball collector at Roland-Garros

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Olivia Duval, a high school student at Fumel, a graduate of the Fumel Tennis Club, will live a three-week dream of being a ball collector at Roland Garros, one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. He will also be the sole representative of the Lot-et-Garonne of the contingent of collectors.

The Porte d’Auteuil clay court will be the daily life of Olivia Duval, a high school student from Fumel, for the next three weeks. From May 16 to June 5, the young Fumeloise will be one of the ball collectors at the prestigious Roland-Garros tennis tournament in Paris. Chosen from hundreds of candidates after a long selection process, she will be on the edge of the courts to give the little yellow balls and bring the towels to the best tennis players on the planet.

“The selection is done in two stages,” explains the teenager. pass the ball to the dancing boys. After validating the first stage, I went to La Grande-Motte to do five days of training. That’s when they determine if we can go to Roland-Garros or not. all these tests and I was selected “.

Chosen from hundreds of candidates

The one who has been playing tennis since she was five years old is excited about the idea of ​​being able to step on the ocher of the legendary Philippe-Chatrier court, with its new roof; the magnificent Suzanne-Lenglen court; and the bustling Simonne-Mathieu court, which recently replaced the No. 1 court. Rafael. Nadal or Novak Djokovic. “Being at Roland Garros is amazing. It’s one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world. Being a ball boy is a dream come true for me,” says Olivia Duval.

Marguerite-Pilhol’s high school student, who received an exceptional exemption from her school for participating in the French Grand Slam tournament, begins Sunday for qualifying matches, before attacking the heart of the matter from 22 May for the main round. For three weeks, she will be staying with her grandparents, who live in the Paris region and will take her to the Porte d’Auteuil every morning. “I’m going to Paris on Friday, the uniforms are being handed out on Saturday and I’m going to attack on the pitch on Sunday. At the moment I only know my schedule and my rest days. the Lot-et-Garonnaise, the only representative of the department among the dance boys.

Olivia Duval is a heart athlete. When she was younger, she played football, and was christened “Zidane in petticoats,” according to her mother, Stéphanie Duval, a French teacher at the Jean-Monnet College in Fumel. “Olivia has always been a sporty girl, practicing many sports. However, she is predisposed to racquet sports,” confirms her father Olivier Duval, a teacher at the Marie-Claude Regional Center for Adapted Education (Erea). -Leriche de Villeneuve-sur-Lot.

Give your all to participate in the Roland-Garros finals

But tennis has always been his favorite discipline. “I’ve been playing tennis for eleven years. It’s my passion and I’ve never wanted to stop. He’s been following me all these years and he’s been following me all my life, I think,” says the teenager. “He spends a lot of time there as he trains twice a week,” adds his mother. “My daughter is very involved in her club, UST Fumel. She supervises the little ones. working in the world of sports, so participating in Roland-Garros is a great adventure for her, and being close to these great tennis champions will be a great experience for her. “We hope that even if the seats are expensive, even for the dance boys, we can take part.”

The competition, in fact, will be perfect for the young woman, who is waiting to be selected to work in the final. Only the best ballboys of the three weeks will have the honor of being on the court for the most important match of the tournament. “Of course I have the bottom line, I’ll give it my all to get to the final,” he said. “She’s very serious. In general, when she does something, she never lets go. We trust her,” the father adds. A healthy mind in a healthy body, young Olivia.

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