Lucas, at 13, hopes to be new Tim Henman’ in 2012 Olympics

LUCAS Taylor has dreamed of being a tennis star and has already been dubbed the East End’s answer to Tim Henman. He already holds the British Under-12s Junior National champ

By Biz Carson

LUCAS Taylor has dreamed of being a tennis star and has already been dubbed the East End's answer to Tim Henman. And he's only 13.

The lad from Bethnal Green was crowned the British Under-12s Junior National Champion and the British U12 National Doubles champ.

Lucas typically puts in five hours of training after school every day.

"I start with an hour of fitness work followed by two hours of individual tennis training," Lucas said. "Then I have something to eat and relax for an hour before a two-hour training with the squad."

Lucas's day typically doesn't end until 8 or 10pm.

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The long hours have paid off as he and 110 other athletes from the East End have won grants from the GLL Sports Foundation.

To qualify, the athletes have to show they have potential to succeed long-term at international level. Most scholarships are geared towards the Olympic hopefuls to compete on home soil in the 2012 Games.

Lucas plans to use his grant for his travel and accommodation for international tournaments.

He has already played in France, Finland and Macedonia and hopes to jet across the Atlantic for the International Orange Bowl in Florida in December.

Thankfully, it shouldn't cost him more than a Tube ticket to get to the 2012 Olympics which are being staged at Stratford, just two stops down the line.

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