On the ball - Eden Silva
UK’s Rising tennis Prodigy and Essex County’s
star player

Game Set and Match are the sweetest words that ring in the ears of Britain’s rising tennis star Eden Silva. Of Mixed Sri Lankan and Russian heritage, 20 year old Eden lives in Essex where she represented the county as their number one player. At the age of 3 she began her foray into the game and years later she had competed in her first international tennis tournament in Auray, France. When she turned 10, Eden travelled to Los Angeles to train with tennis expert Robert Lansdorp. In 2008 after defeating top players, Eden reached the finals of the British Nationals in Bournemouth. When she turned 12 Eden was considered one of the best junior tennis players in Great Britain for her age and also the youngest girl in the country to be invited to join Team AEGON - the highest level of support offered by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Her career defining moment was in 2012 when Eden was the only British girl to win all her qualifying matches and play in Junior Wimbledon. Dedicated to her chosen sport, Eden’s eyes are firmly on the ball as she sets to storm ahead in her career, savouring victory all the way

How old were you when you started playing tennis?

I was only 3 years old when I first played the sport. My dad is very much into sport and staying fit and healthy. My parents took me along on Saturday mornings for mini tennis sessions at our local club and since then I have not looked back.

How involved are your family in tennis?

My family are totally involved in my tennis career and have always been supportive. My dad Roger is my coach and manager while my mum Elena looks after my nutrition. My brother Kyle works on my mental side as only younger brothers can do! My grandmother Nalini tries to come and watch me play at every opportunity.

Who discovered your talent for the game?

My parents first identified that I had good hand eye coordination and my first coach endorsed this once he saw me playing.

How old were you when you first won your main title?

As a young girl I have won many titles but I would like to think my first main title was when at 15 I became the Swansea British Tour Champion in 2011.

How old were you when you decided to turn professional?

I was 18 years old when I turned professional. I was on the tour circuit for a year until an injury forced me take a year out to recover. However now I am getting back on tour.

Can you describe what it was like to play at Wimbledon?

I earned my place in the main draw of Junior Wimbledon by defeating the ITF ranked top 40th and 70th players. Playing at Wimbledon, the most prestigious tournament in the world as a 16 year old was an incredible experience. I hope to return to the courts at Wimbledon very soon and who know maybe win the title. Watch this space!

What are your career highlights?

At 12 years old, I was the youngest girl in country to be invited to join the Lawn Tennis Association’s team AEGON. In 2008 I was the runner up in the Under 12 Junior National Championships. In 2012 I was the only British girl to win all her qualifying matches defeating top 40th and 70th International Tennis Federation ranked players to join the rest of the British contingent in the main draw of junior Wimbledon. More recently I won the Pro Tour Egypt 10K Doubles Championship in 2014 and in 2015 I was shortlisted for the Women of the Future Awards in the sports category.

You were diagnosed with Osgood Schlatters Disease .How did you deal with it?

Osgood Schlatters is common with young athletes as it happens when you overtrain. There is nothing much you can do apart from cut down on the training.

Has it impacted your career at all?

I look at it as a blessing in disguise. I have been able to assemble a great team together who work with me, helped me with my rehabilitation and have helped resolve issues that will help me better my game. The only negative aspect of the injury I can think of is that it prevented me from competing for 12 months.

What sort of fitness regime do you follow to be at the peak?

I follow a full time strength and conditioning programme that I do daily. This involves a combination of power, strength, speed and stamina enhancing exercises. I am also coached by Russell Holman who has coached a former Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship silver medalist. Also Errol Lynch and Mariana Arando my therapists are leaders in their field. I am lucky to have a professional team plotting every step of my journey to the top.

What are the lows of playing tennis on a professional level?

I don’t have many lows, but being away from home a lot and losing tough matches are definite lows.

And the highs?

Travelling the world, competing internationally, stepping on court and above all the greatest high is winning.

How do you prepare yourself mentally before a match?

My priority is to get a good night’s sleep, mentally prepare myself and focus on my game plan.

Who is your tennis idol?

Serena’s my girl!

What did it feel like to be shortlisted for the Asian Woman of Achievement Awards 2016?

To be shortlisted amongst other talented young women was a great honour for me. As a young Asian athlete trying to break through in the competitive world of sport, I would love to win this award one day and inspire others to follow their dreams.

Apart from tennis what are your interests?

On the few days off from training, I enjoy baking, listening to music and spending time with family and friends.

If you had to give up tennis what career would you follow?

I’ve never really thought about doing anything else but tennis. But if I ever come to it I will cross that bridge.

What are the personal sacrifices you have had to make to get where you are today?

The biggest sacrifice is being away from my family and friends.

What do you like about Sri Lanka and what do you miss about it back in the UK?

Due to my tennis commitments I have visited Sri Lanka only once but I felt very much at home. I love the people, the weather, the culture, scenery and the food. I also miss my extended family that live in Sri Lanka.

Would you ever consider representing Sri Lanka in tennis?

I would never say never :-)

What are your goals for next year?

I want to stay healthy, keep improving and enjoy the journey. I believe the outcome will follow the process.

What does it feel like to be billed as a future tennis champion?

It is a huge honour and blessing to have people believe in me and I look forward to facing the challenges ahead of me.