TENNIS ace Annabel Croft served up a treat for students at Ellesmere College.

The former British number one officially opened the school’s new four-court tennis centre, which will be used for tennis lessons, matches and tournaments at the college.

Impressed with the facilities on offer at the school, Annabel enjoyed a busy afternoon when she visited the centre and spent time on the courts with academy players and coaches.

She said: “It is such a pleasure to see this amazing facility.

“When I grew up, there were very few indoor courts in the country. I had to travel from Kent to London, a journey of two hours, so for the pupils of Ellesmere to have such a facility on site is really special.”

The school already has several outdoor tennis courts as part of its campus but the new indoor centre, with four full-size courts, means students can play regardless of the weather.

Headmaster Brendan Wignall said: “Ellesmere has a national reputation for its sporting prowess and this is a great development, which will not only allow us to develop our tennis to an even higher standard but should help more people get involved in tennis across the community.

“It’s an enormous building and a fantastic facility and I was delighted Annabel Croft agreed to open it for us.

“Many young people dream of playing sports around the world like she did and who knows, this centre could help make a Wimbledon finalist.”

The local community will also be able to benefit with coaching sessions and court booking times made available to schools and clubs.

School tennis coach Stephen Welti said: “We have 120 students playing tennis every week already – it’s one of our biggest sports. The hope is we can grow participation and excellence in our fabulous new facility not just for the students, but also for the wider community.”