Sports mad MoZiah Selassie. *Photo supplied.
Sports mad MoZiah Selassie. *Photo supplied.

Former Somerset Primary and Saltus student MoZiah Selassie will play in the regional Road to Wimbledon finals in Nottingham Tennis Centre this weekend, with a place in the national finals on the  famous grass courts at stake.

The 13-year-old, whose family moved to the UK just under two years ago, has steadily improved his ranking, which now stands at 8.2 (the lower the better), over the past year.

Playing at the West Bridgford Tennis Academy, he is in the top performance group at the Nottingham Tennis Centre’s Performance Academy.

Also a student at sports and math specialist school South Nottinghamshire Academy, the former BAA striker has also had trials at professional football club Notts County.

But it appears tennis is winning out in the battle to be his main sport — something that will be emphatically reinforced should the youngster progress to Wimbledon for the finals in August.

MoZiah told the Bermuda Sun: “I’m doing really well, winning quite a lot of games but losing a few as well. I just want to keep improving.”

He added: “I think I’m going to chose tennis because although football is my favourite, I’m probably better at tennis.

“I’m really excited to have a chance to get to Wimbledon. My dream is to be a professional tennis player but if that doesn’t work I’d like to go into sports management.

“Roger Federer is my favourite player and I also like Andre Agassi. I have Agassi’s autobiography and it’s my favourite book. I watch his old games on YouTube.”

MoZiah was the 2010 Bermuda boys’ #1 seed at under-10 level and he also experienced six weeks training at the famed IMG Bolleteri Tennis Academy, as well as gaining competition experience in Florida.

He then took two years off competitive tennis following some dispiriting defeats as his rapid  progression pitted him against older players too soon.

But now he’s back enjoying the sport again and he beat top seeds in the first round of the Road to Wimbledon Under-14 section en route to qualifying for the regional finals.

Mom Dana Selaisse, who is studying for a Phd in Film and Television Studies at Nottingham University, says they are already thinking about scholarship opportunities.

But she insisted her son will make his own mind up.

“What we’re trying to do at the moment is to give him the information to ensure he makes an informed decision. I don’t want to make the decision for him.

“I want him to understand what tennis can do for him. His strength is definitely tennis so we’re looking for him to play football on a more casual basis.”

She added: “I’m extremely proud. I think seeing him maturing and seeing him blossom… he’s a very focused young man.

“As a parent when you see him against the other players and they’re throwing the racquet around, he’s just so composed and so level. He comes off the court and I can never tell whether he’s won or lost!

“I try to be supportive by standing back — I want to let him take charge. My job is just to get him to the court!”