Laura was born on 21 January 1994 in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the UK when she was six. According to her parents, she began playing tennis “as soon as she could hold a tennis racquet”, and after being encouraged by them, she entered a junior tennis academy at age 7. She signed with an agent when she was only 10 years old.
Laura competed in her first junior grand slam as an unseeded player at the Wimbledon girls’ event. As the youngest player in the tournament, she beat first seed Melanie Oudin on her way to the finals, where she defeated third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. Her victory made her the first British player to win the girls’ event since Annabel Croft in 1984, and the British media described her as the “new darling” of British tennis, and the “Queen of Wimbledon”.
In the Australian Open this year Laura sported a rainbow headband after tennis legend and evangelical pastor Margaret Court had made inflammatory comments about gay marriage. She was playing on the very court that was named after the grand doyenne of tennis had made the comments against equal marriage rights . When Laura was questioned about the head band afterwards she said that she didn’t see it as a protest, but she wanted to show that she believed in equal rights for everyone.
This young star has shown time and again that she has real promise and is certainly one of Team GB’s most exciting prospects for this summer.