SINGAPORE - The 42 ball kids who will be involved in next week's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global got the chance to meet world No. 4 Garbine Muguruza at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
The youngsters, aged between 12 and 18, were also officially inducted and received their accreditation passes and uniforms. They were selected from about 200 applicants, and underwent a selection process and attended a compulsory training camp before making the final cut.
They were also ball kids at the SEA Games in June.
Chief training V. Thigarajah said a good ball kid working an event of this level must have several characteristics.
"Agility, speed, accuracy, and above all, character," he said. "They must be committed to serve the players first. They must be able to roll the ball smooth and accurately and should not lose focus. They should also be cognisant of the movement of other ball kids on court."
Lily Lim, 13, a player with her school team, had her first experience being a ball kid at the SEA Games. She said: "It is about understanding the players' habits. We need to be very focused and adaptable to changes. Some of them may only take balls from one side, so we always have to be alert and act fast."
The ball kids are in their own race to be among the 12 selected for the final on Nov 1. Out of these 12, the top boy and top girl will be selected to be part of the Australian Open as a ball kid next year.