LOUISE Hunt is fully aware she is doing more than just playing a tennis match when she makes her Paralympic bow at Eton Manor today.
The Wanborough star will take on Japanese world number 11 Yui Kamiji in the first round of the singles tennis competition.
Currently ranked 22 in the world, Hunt wants London 2012 to create a valuable legacy for disability sport in the UK and believes she has a part to play in that.
“I’m just looking forward to getting on court and playing some tennis,” she said.
“With the home crowd behind me, I feel confident and can’t wait to get started.
“I’m hoping that the Paralympics will be a huge step forward for disability sport and to have a purpose-built venue for wheelchair tennis at Eton Manor is a huge honour.
“We want more people not only to watch our sport, but to give it a go as you can have so much fun playing tennis.”
Meanwhile, Hunt’s coach Ali Ward believes the 21-year-old is in great shape ahead of her first-round match.
“We’ve seen her (Kamiji) practise and we feel quite confident in the Hunt camp, although I think there are a few pre-match nerves,” he said.
“It was irrelevant who she was drawn against, it was more just about the size of the event.
“She’s had a few days to get used to the backdrop and hopefully when she gets out there the British crowd will get right behind her.
“All she’s concentrating on is the tennis and getting through to the second round.”
The Paralympic tennis begins at Eton Manor at 11am this morning and Hunt will face 18-year-old Kamiji in the last-32 stage.
The two players have never met on the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour.