“Amazing, no words can describe it,” is how 16-year-old Irvinestown tennis player Kyran Maguire reacted to his week as a Barclays ball boy at the O2 Arena in London for the ATP World Tour finals.
Indeed, it was quite the perfect ending to the perfect week for both Kyran and that man Andy Murray.
Kyran was on court not only for Murray’s standing ovation in his first game of the tournament but was also on court for the last 40 minutes of the final as Murray held off a late Novak Djokovic revival to win in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Back home in Irvinestown, Kyran, ranked number four in Ulster and 12th in Ireland at U16 level, reflected on the week.
“It was the experience of a lifetime and I was fortunate to be on the court when Murray played in his opening game and walked on to a standing ovation for his first game as world number one. Then I came on to court for the last 40 minutes of the final and the atmosphere was like nothing I have heard before. The support for Murray was fanatical,” said Kyran who explained that the 30 Barclays ball boys were split into groups of six and rotated on and off court at 40 minute intervals.
He continued: “I was made captain of my six and we then got called at the end of games and were able to get all the players’ autographs as they walked off. It is an experience that I will never forget, the players were amazing. It was great to see them up close, they hit the ball so hard but it is their decision making that separates the top players.”
Kyran admits that it was inspirational for an up and coming young player like himself to see the top eight players in the world and he is undoubtedly looking forward to next season when he cuts his teeth at U18 level.
Kyran was joined in London by his father John with other family members attending at the start of the week and some friends attending for the weekend semi-finals and final.
All in all, it was simply a tremendous week of tennis and nobody had a better view than Irvinestown’s Kyran Maguire.