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Jade Curtis diary
Fifteen-year-old Jade Curtis is winding up her first season on the ITF junior tour.

In her last tennis diary for BBC Sport Academy, she takes heart from Andy Murray's rise in the rankings and reflects on surviving Hurricane Wilma.

Jade Curtis' latest junior tennis diary
Jade Curtis
British No.1 ranked girl

Like everyone else, I've been really impressed by Andy Murray's rankings rise this season.

I knew he was a good player but I didn't expect he'd become that good that soon, and I certainly didn't think he'd beat Tim Henman.

Tim's always been the top man in British tennis and now it just seems like Andy's taken the spotlight from him.

Andy's rise gives me a lot of confidence to know that by being good in the juniors, you can rise quickly in the seniors, too.

He's not just played, he's competed well and competed against the likes of Roger Federer.

Andy Murray and Jade Curtis' respective rankings rises

The way he took apart Radek Stepanek on the grass at Wimbledon was phenomenal.

I can't compare my season to Andy's. No way! The way he has risen and performed in every match, you can't really do any better than that.

I've had some success this year but I always expect more from myself. You have to be like that.

It has been one of the best seasons I've had, though. Not necessarily success-wise, but just based on what I have learnt.

I wish I could have known at the start of the season what I know now.

It's all about learning when to be aggressive and when to be consistent.

For example, the tournament in Japan I went to recently was actually one of the best learning experiences this year, both on and off the court.

It was my first time in the country and, although I didn't get to see too much, it made a lasting impression.

JADE'S 2005 HIGHLIGHTS
Jade Curtis
Ranking rises from 211 to 74
Becomes British No.1 Junior
Wins titles in Barbados and Guadeloupe
They had some really cool stuff. They are way ahead when it comes to gadgets. The phones and cameras were so hi-tech.

And then there's the food. They like their sushi over there. Everything comes with fish. Everything.

At every restaurant it was just fish, fish, fish! Even for breakfast they had salmon salad.

A lot of the people were going to McDonalds because there was nothing unless you wanted to eat eyeballs or something! You didn't want to go there!

Mind you, fish would have been a nice option when Hurricane Wilma passed right over us recently here in Florida.

We were in the eye of the storm. It was scary at first because you're not used to the windows shaking so loudly.

On the news they were saying it was category one or two but everyone said it must have been category three because it flattened some houses - the destruction has been really bad.

It was worst after the hurricane because the houses lost power, and nothing was open so you couldn't buy food.

The only thing you could eat was dried food. You couldn't cook or anything so we didn't eat much.

And we only had two candles, so we couldn't really do anything for three or four days.

Luckily we got power quite soon after the hurricane because there's a hospital quite close to us, but some people won't have any power until the end of November.

Despite the weather, I'll be sticking around in Florida as the Orange Bowl Championships are in December, which is quite a big deal.

Donald Young made a name for himself there when he won the boys' title as a 14-year-old.

It will be nice to play at a local venue for a change. I'm looking forward to playing there after a good four-week block of training.

If I'm honest, I would have expected to be higher up the rankings than I am now, but from what I've learnt perhaps they were false expectations.

But all-in-all I'm quite happy with my first season on tour and my goal is to get in the top 64 to make the main draws of the Grand Slams next year.

Hopefully Andy Murray won't be the only young Brit worth cheering when the Aussie Open begins!



SEE ALSO
Tasting the Big Apple
28 Sep 05 |  Tennis
Cracking the top 100
03 Aug 05 |  Tennis
Next year the seniors
01 Jul 05 |  Tennis
Junior Wimbledon calling
23 Jun 05 |  Tennis
No room for wildcards
24 May 05 |  Tennis
Caribbean queen
22 Apr 05 |  Tennis


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